Calling all politics fans – the Great Big Politics Pub Quiz is back!

PoliticsQuizlogoIt has been a while, but the ever-popular Great Big Politics Pub Quiz is back!

As part of the soon-to-be-launched Imagine! Belfast Festival of Ideas and Politics, the quiz returns to The Black Box in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter on Thursday 12 March.

With politics trivia questions – fact and fiction – and guest quiz-masters elevated from the benches of Stormont and Westminster, this fun fundraiser is one not to be missed.

A treasure trove of books, DVDs and political ephemera awaits the winners – all donated by regular quiz supporters, political consultancy Stratagem.

Imagine-FOOTER-Logo-Process_grey_StrapPut a team together in advance or come down on your own and we’ll find one for you among fellow politics nerds, hacks and pundits. You could be going home as a poll-topper, celebrated on the pages of Slugger O’Toole…

This year, every penny raised will go to support Amnesty International’s work to free Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi and others similarly imprisoned for exercising their right to freedom of speech. We’ll be asking people to take action on the night as part of the campaign.

Raif Badawi was flogged in public 50 times last month. He has 950 lashes and nearly a decade in prison left to serve.

548x331_raif_0Raif’s sentence stems from his creation of the website Saudi Arabian Liberals, a forum for political and social debate. He was subsequently charged for content he had posted to the site, including an article published on Valentine’s Day 2012 in which he was accused of ridiculing Saudi Arabia’s religious police, the Commission on the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice – as well as failing to remove ‘offensive’ posts by other contributors.

Raif was arrested in June 2012. In May 2014 he was found guilty of breaking Saudi Arabia’s strict technology laws and insulting Islamic religious figures by creating and managing an online forum.

He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, 1,000 lashes, a fine of 1 million Saudi Riyal (over a quarter of a million US dollars), and prevented from using any kind of media or travelling until 2034.

Raif is due to be publicly flogged 50 times every week after Friday prayers until he has been lashed 1,000 times. Amnesty is asking the Saudi authorities to halt the barbaric punishment and to free this prisoner of conscience. Over a million people have signed this petition. A vigil was held in Belfast and more have been staged outside Saudi embassies in many countries. The fact that four weeks have now passed since he was flogged suggests that international pressure may be having some effect.

stratagem logoWe hope it’s a case and an issue close to the hearts of the local blogger community and will be supported whether you’re a contributor, commenter or reader or part of the wider political, activism and journalism circles for whom freedom of expression matters.

We recommend you get your tickets in advance – available to purchase online now.

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