Saudi blogger Raif Badawi (left) and his lawyer Walid Abu al-Khayr.
The tweet came in: "Urgent: It is confirmed that #RaifBadawi will be lashed tomorrow. The lashing order says Raif should 'be lashed very severely.'"
More on Raif Badawi can be found in "Eroticized Violence, Savage Justice in Saudi Arabia," by Valentina Colombo, published by the Gatestone Institute on July 7, 2014 (excerpted below):
Raif Badawi, a Saudi blogger, has been sentenced to 1000 lashes, ten years in jail and a fine of $270,000 for a blog regarded by Saudi Arabia's regime as insulting Islam.
"My commitment is…to reject any repression in the name of religion…a goal that we will reach in a peaceful and law-abiding way." — Raif Badawi
Badawi was condemned, according to Amnesty International, for having co-founded a website, "Saudi Arabian Liberals," and for having written and publishing on it his blog and other writings, as well as on Facebook and Twitter, -- as well as for other "offenses to Islamic precepts.
He criticized and made fun of Saudi institutions such as the Commission for the Promotion of Goodness and the Prohibition of Vice (also known as "the religious police"), the Saudi Grand Mufti, other Saudi ulema [religious scholars].
The long sentence of the Criminal Court of the district of Jeddah stated that he had undermined the "public order."
In an interview published in August 2007 by the liberal website Afaaq, Badawi stated that "liberals in Saudi Arabia live between the anvil of State and the hammer of the religious police." On that occasion, he described himself thusly: "Raif Badawi is nothing more than a Saudi citizen. My commitment is to the advancement of civil society in my country, to reject any repression in the name of religion, to promote liberal enlightened Saudis whose primary objective is being active in civil society, a goal that we will reach in a peaceful and law-abiding way."
Badawi's words are not apostasy, just a call for a deep reform and change in his country.