Saudi Supreme Court upholds blogger’s sentence
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Saudi Supreme Court upholds blogger’s sentence

Saudi Supreme Court upholds blogger’s sentence

Raif Badawi was sentenced to 1,000 lashes, a 10-year jail term and a fine of SAR 1 million last year.


Saudi Arabia’s supreme court has upheld the sentence of lashings and jail term for blogger Raif Badawi, BBC News reported.

Last year Badawi was handed a sentence of 1,000 lashes, a fine of SAR 1 million ($266,000) and a jail term of 10 years after he reportedly criticised the Saudi clergy in a blog.

On his website Free Saudi Liberals, he had called for a change in the way Islam was practiced in the kingdom.

His liberal discourse was put to an end when he was arrested in 2012 for “insulting Islam”, disobeying his father and cyber crime.

In January, the blogger received the first 50 lashes from his sentence but subsequent rounds of lashings have been postponed due to his ill health, media reports said.

However a video of Badawi’s first round of lashings caused international outrage and drew sharp criticism of Saudi Arabia’s human rights record in the West.

Following that, Badawi’s case was advocated by dignitaries such as Prince Charles while the governments of the US and Canada have pleaded for clemency.

It was also one of the subjects that caused a rift between Sweden and the kingdom, which later snowballed into a diplomatic row.

Saudi Arabia, while expressing “surprise and dismay” at the international reactions to Badawi’s sentence- had sent it for a review earlier this year.

But in a statement carried by the state media, the government also warned that it did not welcome any interference in its internal affairs.

Saudi Arabia follows the strict Wahabi school of Islam and applies sharia law.

As per this system, judges base their decisions on their own interpretation of religious law instead of precedent or a written legal code.


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