Saudi court upholds blogger’s 1,000 lashes and jail time

Raif Badawi was arrested in June 2012 for offences including insulting Islam

Protesters stand in front of a placard reading ‘1,000 lashes and 10 years of prison for a blogger’ and ‘Freedom of speech is a human right’ which they placed in front of the Saudi-Arabian embassy in Berlin. Photograph: Paul Zinken/EPA

Protesters stand in front of a placard reading ‘1,000 lashes and 10 years of prison for a blogger’ and ‘Freedom of speech is a human right’ which they placed in front of the Saudi-Arabian embassy in Berlin. Photograph: Paul Zinken/EPA

 

A Saudi court has upheld a sentence of 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail on blogger Raif Badawi even after the case drew international condemnation and strained ties between the kingdom and some European countries.

The ruling against Mr Badawi is now final, Saudi newspaper Okaz reported.

Mr Badawi was arrested in June 2012 for offences including insulting Islam, cyber crime and disobeying his father, which is a crime in Saudi Arabia.

He was sentenced last year to 10 years in jail, a fine of one million riyals (€235,090) and the flogging.

In March, Swedish foreign minister Margot Wallstroem was blocked from making a planned speech at the Arab League in Cairo after she called the flogging of Mr Badawi “close to medieval”.

German economy and energy minister Sigmar Gabriel also said the sentence could hurt ties between his country and the world’s top oil exporter.

Mr Badawi’s wife said in January of this year that her husband’s health had worsened after the first round of flogging and that he could not possible survive the full punishment.

Bloomberg