Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court upholds jail, 1,000 lashes for liberal blogger Raif Badawi

The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the sentence of Raif Badawi, who was lashed in January in a public square, is final and cannot be overturned without a royal pardon.

By: AFP | Dubai | Updated: June 8, 2015 10:14 am
Saudi blogger, Saudi liberal blogger, Raif Badawi, blogger Raif Badawi, Raif Badawi lashed, Raif Badawi punishment, Saudi Arabia Supreme court, Saudi Arbia blogger, Amensty International, UN, United Nations, world news, Saudi news, international news Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court upheld a verdict against the liberal blogger Raif Badawi, who was flogged in January after being found guilty of insulting Islam and breaking technology laws. (AP file photo)

Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court has upheld a sentence of 10 years in jail and 1,000 lashes against blogger Raif Badawi on charges of insulting Islam, his wife said on Sunday.

The judgment came despite worldwide outrage over his case and criticism from the United Nations, United States, the European Union, Canada and others.

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“This is a final decision that is irrevocable,” Ensaf Haidar told AFP in a telephone interview from Canada. “This decision has shocked me.”

Badawi received the first 50 of the 1,000 lashes he was sentenced to outside a mosque in the Red Sea city of Jeddah on January 9. Subsequent rounds of punishment were postponed on medical grounds.

Amnesty International slammed the “abhorrent” decision to uphold a “cruel and unjust sentence,” describing it as a “dark day for freedom of expression.”

“Blogging is not a crime and Raif Badawi is being punished merely for daring to exercise his right to freedom of expression,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa director.

Badawi’s wife expressed fear that the implementation of the flogging sentence “might resume next week.”

“I was optimistic that the advent of (the Muslim fasting month of) Ramadan and the arrival of a new king would bring a pardon for the prisoners of conscience, including my husband,” she said.

Badawi co-founded the Saudi Liberal Network Internet discussion group.

He was arrested in June 2012 under cyber-crime provisions, and a judge ordered the website shut after it criticized Saudi Arabia’s notorious religious police.

The co-founder of the online venue, Suad al-Shammari, was released from jail in February. But Badawi’s lawyer, Walid Abulkhair, who is also a rights activist, remain behind bars.

Badawi and Abulkhair have been nominated for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize by Norwegian member of parliament Karin Andersen.

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  1. Maciej Gorski
    Jun 8, 2015 at 2:05 am
    And yet we rely so heavily on their oil we just sit back and let them think that what they are doing is OK in this day and age.... we need to explain that the world has moved on as these practices need to be left behind, in ALL of Islam. They need to be mocked to the extreme as that is the Islam being preached from their counry. And we probably fund the preachers too, lol.
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      lookman
      Jun 8, 2015 at 6:08 am
      ALL HOUSES MUST BE CLEARED OF THE JUNK THAT ISLAM IS. IT IS A FORCE PULLING HUMANITY TO THE DARK AGES. ONLY TIME WILL TELL.
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        Rici
        Jun 8, 2015 at 4:27 pm
        This may not be like the ination of Bangladesh bloggers by ISIS/ Al kaida..but this is close. ISIS is nothing but slightly more condensed form of Islam fallowed in Arab/other muslim Countries. These countries are officially or unofficially nurturing these extremist ideologies. Should be taken to task the same way ISIS/ ALkaida is treated.
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