Court upholds blogger’s 1000 lashes sentence
SAUDI Arabia’s supreme court has upheld a sentence of 10 years in jail and 1000 lashes against blogger Raif Badawi on charges of insulting Islam.
The judgement came despite worldwide outrage over his case and criticism from the United Nations, United States, the European Union, Canada and others.
“This is a final decision that is irrevocable,” Badawi’s wife Ensaf Haidar said in a telephone interview from Canada. “This decision has shocked me.”
Badawi received the first 50 of the 1000 public lashes 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.
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Islam surely is the largest offender of human rights violation.
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