It’s already a few weeks since the first public flogging of a Saudi blogger took place. Fortunately for him, he was dealt the first 50 lashes or cane strokes of the 1000, while the world was still reeling from the Charlie Hebdo slaughters.
His situation remained in the news for about a week. CNN and various international papers continued to report about mr Raif Badawi’s case. Amnesty International continued its campaign. Many media forgot to mention, that mr Badawi’s lawyer, mr Waleed Abulkhair had also been arrested, jailed, and sentenced to 15 years. In the meantime, mr Badawi’s wife and children fled Saudi Arabia and now live as refugees in Canada.
Then, a king died and a new king started his reign. CNN and other media focussed on a burial and speculated about changes the new king might bring about. No changes have made headlines so far; nor any reports about clemency, just one big void or black hole.
Mr Raif Badawi is still in jail. Occasionally, it seems he’s dragged to court. Presumably, he’s still publicly tortured on a weekly basis. Nobody reports how his lawyer is faring.
The media had other shocking news to report: the US President’s wife walked around Saudi Arabia, while she left head and hair uncovered. Then the UK Daily Telegraph’s website reported Saudi Arabia was investigating. No: not Mrs Obama. A female diplomat is being investigated: she dared to address the UN without wearing a headscarf.
In case she’s arrested for her outrageous behaviour, please CNN and other media: can you keep her and similar cases in the headlines longer than 24/7? After all: you do manage to cover ISIS atrocities longer than that.
For the impression all this makes is, that a country which apparently prefers to continue to punish like ISIS, does not receive similar media coverage. Are the punishments and atrocities carried out in Saudi Arabia and by ISIS not based on the same laws and similar attitudes? And what about links between Saudi Arabia and al Qaeda? Where did Osama Bin Laden and family originate from? Where did the family flee to on 9/11?
Not that it matters much of course. It’s highly unlikely, that Saudi Arabia, al Qaeda, ISIS will ever be summoned in front of the International Court of Justice. Or for that matter: another country about Guantanamo Bay.