This is a press release which we helped create. Please share and repost widely. Raymond is a contributor to the Cryptosphere as well as a Pirate party activist. EDITED TO UPDATE: Video and post-flogging interview here.
Torture survivor and Global Pirate Party activist Raymond Johansen will subject himself to 50 lashes in the middle of Trafalgar Square, London at 9:30 pm Sunday August 16.
Johansen is undergoing the ordeal in solidarity with Raif Badawi, a Saudi Arabian blogger imprisoned for apostasy in contradiction of Saudi Arabia’s own Sharia Law. Badawi was sentenced to 1000 lashes, to be delivered 50 at a time. Johansen will take 50 of Badawi’s 1000 sentenced lashes as an act of solidarity and support, in order to draw attention to the outrageous torture which has rendered Badawi’s health precarious. Ministers in the government of the UK have spoken in support of the punishment: http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/saudi-arabia-is-teaching-isis-a-lesson-in-cruelty-yet-the-uk-continues-to-defend-them-10324161.html
Johansen also hopes that moving public torture from the Middle East into the heart of Europe where it cannot be ignored will have an impact on torture practices around the world. He is a Norwegian activist that focuses on helping the persecuted, be it by Western governments or dictatorships, and a champion for free speech and human rights all over the world. As a Pirate Party member, he is involved in many causes that pertains to mass surveillance of innocent people, and is especially focused on issues relating to state sponsored torture.
He works with organizations like FreeAnons and Amnesty International, among others, and is a part of the international team for the Pirate Party of Norway. He has worked to help Raif Badawi and his family since 2013 – lately as a part of Backlash Group running a social media campaign aptly called #Backlash, which encourages supporters to upload photos of themselves with red lipstick “lash” marks across their backs.
In 2002, Johansen was kidnapped, tortured and extorted for money. For over seven and a half hours he was beaten to within an inch of his life. The judge called it severe sadistic torture.
Tomorrow he will take 50 lashes across his back in Trafalgar Square. Anonymous UK Radio will live stream video the event, and run a live radio show at the same time, documenting the horror. All media outlets are encouraged to attend, and Johansen is available for interviews prior to the lashing.
Reports from Saudi Arabia indicate that Raif Badawi is in very poor health, and his family and supporters fear his health will further deteriorate. The blogger was sentenced to 10 years, and a thousand lashes, which have been postponed several times as his health is so poor the doctors believe the punishment would have proven fatal.
Links to information about the Raif Badawi case:
- #ReadRaif Campaign Draws Celeb, Social Media Support
- What blogger Raif Badawi’s new book reveals about Saudi Arabia
- UK ministers have started to defend Saudi Arabia’s flogging of Raif Badawi – it’s breathtaking
- SNP’s Stewart McDonald highlights the case of jailed Saudi blogger Raif Badawi
- Statement from the Saudi Ambassador to the United Nations
Leader of Backlash group
Nathan Newman, +44 7411745653 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Leader of the Pirate Party of Norway
Tale Haukbjørk Østrådal +47 46 54 85 12 Email: email@example.com
Raymond Johansen |Global Pirate Activist
Pirate Party Nordland| +47 911 35 863
Int. Team, Pirate Party of Norway / firstname.lastname@example.org
Home pages | Hacktivist Culture – Enforcing Transparency
Complete Gravatar profile | http://en.gravatar.com/rayjoha2015