Saudi activist Raif Badawi to receive more lashes

Saudi activist Raif Badawi to receive more lashes
Jailed Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, whose public flogging in 2015 sparked international outrage, is facing a new round of lashes in jail despite fears for the activist's life.
2 min read
19 October, 2016
Badawi received his first set of lashes in public in 2015 [AFP]

Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, who was sentenced to ten years in prison and 1,000 lashes for insulting Islam, will receive a new set of lashes, his supporters said.

A private source told Evelyne Abitbol, who founded the Raif Badawi Foundation with Badawi's wife, said that the Saudi government would resume corporal punishment against the jailed blogger.

"Our understanding of the information is that another series of lashes punishment will take place this time inside the prison," she said on the foundation's website on Monday.

The unnamed source, who was the same person who had alerted Badawi's wife Ensaf Haidar in 2015 before he received his first 50 lashes in public, did not indicate when the next flogging would take place.

"Unfortunately, it could happen at any time, if it happens," Abitbol told Reuters by phone in Montreal.

Abitbol went on to urge Riyadh to stop the "inhumane punishment" and strip Badawi of his Saudi citizenship so he can leave the country for Canada and be reunited with his family.

Haidar, who left Saudi Arabia after receiving death threats, has been granted asylum in Canada, where she lives with the couple's three children in the province of Quebec.

Badawi was arrested in 2012 and brought to court on charges of insulting Islam using electronic channels, and apostasy - which carries an automatic death sentence.

In 2013, he was sentenced to seven years in prison and 600 lashes, of which he received 50 in the first round.

His sentence was extended to ten years imprisonment and 1,000 lashes in 2015.

His blog, the Saudi Free Liberals Forum, was shut down following his arrest.

Amnesty International has designated him a prisoner of conscience and he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2015.

Badawi has been given several international awards, including the Courage Award 2015 from the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy, and the European Union's prestigious Sakharov Prize for human rights.