It was a sight that shocked the world — the corpse of Ribhi Badawi being dragged through the streets of Gaza City Tuesday by a motorcycle as Hamas gunmen fired into the air.
His crime? Collaborating with Israel to pinpoint Hamas targets.
But the charge wasn’t true, the militant’s grieving widow told The News.
Actually, Badawi, 37, had spent the last four years in a Hamas prison under armed guard. He was tortured for seven months into confessing that he was working for Israel.
“They burned (him) and broke his jaw and teeth,” said his widow, Kholoud Badawi. “He was hanged for 45 days by his arms and legs to make him confess. He confessed because of the torture.
“He told me every detail of what had happened to him and he gave me a diary he was writing,” she added.
But he was sentenced to death in a show trial. His family appealed and asked that the sentence be reduced to 10 years in prison, and the court was due to rule the day he was executed.
“We hoped they would accept our appeal because they had no evidence — just his supposed confession,” she said.
As Kholoud and her five young children accepted the condolences of neighbors and friends in their tiny home in the poverty-stricken Sheikh Radwan neighborhood of Gaza City, friends and neighbors said Badawi was a kind, helpful man who made a living as a herbalist.