Michael van der Galien on May 30, 2008
A Turkish-born barber, living and working in Saudi Arabia, was recently convicted for the ‘crime’ of apostasy and has been sentenced to death. The man, Sabri Bogday, had a quarrel with a person from Egypt and a Saudi during which he seemingly cursed the name of God. This is of course unacceptable in Saudi Arabia and… as a result, the judges of that country have decided that Bogday deserves to die.
With this case it’s important to act fast; on May 1, the Appeals Court confirmed the verdict of a lower court.
Bogday isn’t the only person in trouble in Saudi Arabia; a blogger is in trouble as well. ‘On May 5, the prosecution service in Jeddah charged Ra’if Badawi with “setting up an electronic site that insults Islam,” and referred the case to court, asking for a five-year prison sentence and a 3 million riyal (US$800,000) fine. Unknown persons have hacked Badawi’s website multiple times, and have published his phone numbers, work address, and a threat on the hacked site: “Oh you retard, you are in the land of Muhammad, peace be upon him. Underline ‘Muhammad’ with a thousand lines before a thousand swords are put above your neck!” Prosecutors have not investigated the hackers or the death threats against Badawi.’
Luckily for him, however, he escaped from Saudi Arabia.
You can read more about it here at Human Rights Watch. As Peter Slutsky points out HRW is the only organization currently trying to help these two individuals. That’s why Slutsky decided to post about it at the Huffington Post; he hopes that writing about it will help get the two out of jail. The more people know about these cases, the more likely it is that the Saudi government will receive angry letters, negative attention and political pressure. The same goes, of course, for the Turkish government (which should do everything in its power to help Bogday).
If you are Turk, or from Turkish origin, please send an e-mail to the Turkish government, the AK Parti leadership (awesome site in English), the MHP leadership and the CHP leadership. If you don’t live in Turkey please also send an e-mail to the Turkish embassy in which you live. And lets not forget Turkish newspapers like Today’s Zaman and Turkish Daily News (plus the Turkish language Turkish newspapers).
If you are not a Turk, please do the same (they can all read English) and also send an e-mail to your own government.
The e-mail addresses of the CHP are (just send an e-mail to all of them):
The e-mail addresses of the MHP:
Firstly, you can click on this link – it will take you to a form.
Secondly, you can send an e-mail to this address: email@example.com
The e-mail addresses of the AK Parti:
Reçep Tayyip Erdogan: firstname.lastname@example.org
If there are those who have more websites (related to the AK Parti), please add them in the comment section – I will add them later today to the post.
Turkish Daily News:
Click here to fill in a form.
These people, parties and newspapers should spend lots of attention to these cases; publicity and political pressure are necessary right now. If you don’t do anything, chances are that Bogday will die.
I spent more attention to Bogday in this post because he’s still in Saudi Arabia whereas the blogger fled. The latter’s life is, therefore, not in immediate danger.