Punishment for blogger is upheld
Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court upheld an internationally condemned verdict against a liberal blogger who was publicly f logged after being found guilty of insulting Islam, state-linked news websites reported.
The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the sentence of Raif Badawi, a 31year-old father of three who was lashed in January in a public square, is final and cannot be overturned without a royal pardon.
Badawi, imprisoned since 2012, initially was sentenced to seven years in prison and 600 lashes for breaking Saudi Arabia’s technology laws and insulting Islamic religious figures through a blog he created.
After an appeal, a criminal court in Jidda last year stiffened the punishment to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes. The lashes had been scheduled to be administered over 20 weekly sessions, with 50 lashes each week, according to the London-based rights group Amnesty International.
In January, security officials flogged Badawi outside a mosque in Jidda. Subsequent f loggings were halted as the Supreme Court reviewed the case.