*Kelly Olsen, WordPress blogger and mother of three, received the first instalment of her cruel and unusual punishment this morning outside of Red Deer Provincial Court, where a judge had sentenced her in July, 2012 to 10 years imprisonment, $300,000, and 10 finger dislocations for writing about her thoughts on organized religion, Canadian foreign policy, and implying that the Catholic Pope is a cult object.
As her husband and children watched on, shouting words of love and support, an RCMP officer escorted a shackled and handcufffed Olsen to a platform that was set up to face the estimated six hundred people who gathered to witness her public shaming and torture.
An officer of the court then read the following: “Kelly Olsen, as part of your sentence to the crimes of which you have been convicted, it is my duty to dislocate all joints in each finger on both hands, to be carried out one finger at a time, each week, at this time and at this location for 10 weeks.”
He then removed Olsen’s handcuffs, placed her right hand in his, and proceeded to dislocate each joint of her index finger with swift and purposeful movements. Olsen screamed in agony with each of the three dislocations and fell to her knees in apparent agony. One of her sons could be heard saying “Stay strong, Mom” through the crowd of cheering onlookers.
Olsen was then pulled to her feet, re-handcuffed, and escorted back into the building.*
Of course, this is a fake headline and story. I am Kelly Olsen. I am healthy and well, sitting with my family in my comfortable home, afforded with the luxury and freedom to write as I choose. Thankfully, I don’t have to worry about being arrested, charged, convicted and sentenced for criticizing a particular religion or my government (at least, for the time being).
But you knew that, reading this rediculous story. That would never happen.
Well, it did and is happening. A fellow blogger and journalist just received 50 flogs with a cane this past Friday in a display of public shaming and torture, while his fellow citizens chanted “Allahu Akbar” (God is great) and whistled and clapped when the flogging ended.
This was the first installment of the cruel punishment Raif Badawi will receive – another 50 lashes next Friday, and every Friday after that until he has received 1000 lashes. Badawi will also serve 10 years imprisonment, as well as having to pay a fine of 1 million Saudi Riyals, equivalent to approximately $266,000US.
Badawi’s crime? Running a website devoted to free speech… for insulting Islam.
Reports say that the chances of Badawi surviving all 20 weeks of flogging are slim. This young man is going to possibly die a horrible death for creating a forum of discussion about religion.
Is that sinking in? He created an opportunity for people to voice their feelings and opinions about what is going on around us. NEWS! CURRENT EVENTS! But because these current events involve fundamentalist terrorism, and that these terrorists claim Islam as their religion, then his website was condemned as being a forum to criticize Islam. So black and white, isn’t it?
Our western governments are shaking their fingers at Saudi Arabia and criticizing this punishment as a violation of human rights, but don’t expect to see too much action from these governments to demand a stop to it. Think about where most of the worlds oil comes from.
It’s up to us ordinary citizens of the world to speak out against this autrocity against free speech and human rights. Do it, and do it now before you, my fellow WordPress bloggers, are also punished for speaking freely.
To read Aljazeera’s latest article, click the following link…
Saudi blogger flogged for ‘insulting Islam’ – Middle East – Al Jazeera Englishhttp://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2015/01/saudi-arabia-blogger-flogged-insulting-islam-20151911120952108.html