Saudi High Court Upholds Blasphemy Sentence On Blogger

June 7, 2015

Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court has upheld the sentence of 1,000 lashes and 10 years in prison on a blogger who was found guilty of “insulting Islam though electronic channels.”

Raif Badawi was arrested in 2012 for running the Liberal Saudi Network, which encouraged online debate of religious and political issues.

The sentence that was upheld today was harsher than the first he received. That one was overturned during a retrial, but was reinstated in May 2014, adding 400 more lashes, three more years in prison and an additional fine equivalent to $266,000.

In January of this year, he received the first 50 lashes of his sentence, but more floggings were postponed as a result of international outcry over the punishment. His wife, Ensaf Haidar, had pleaded at the time that her husband could not withstand a second flogging.

Speaking from Canada today, she was quoted by Agence-France Presse that “this is a final decision and is irrevocable.”

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