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Saudi blogger Raef Badawi may face death penalty

BEIRUT | March 03, 2015, 10h35
Saudi blogger Raef Badawi may face death penalty, The Independent reported, while quoting Mr Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar.
Ensaf Haidar told the British daily that judges in Saudi Arabia’s criminal court want her husband to undergo a re-trial for apostasy. If found guilty, the blogger would face a death sentence.

Raef Badawi was already sentenced to ten years in prison and 1,000 lashes, given over a period of 20 weeks for purportedly insulting Islam on his website "Free Saudi Liberals" (the website was inviting people to talk about the evolution of the Saudi society. It was quickly closed). Raef was also charged with cybercrime and disobeying his father, which is considered a crime in Saudi Arabia.

On January 11, as an official representative of Saudi Arabia was marching to support freedom of speech in Paris, the Kingdom had just launched the flogging of the Saudi blogger, who received the first round of lashes amidst a global outcry against a punishment that has been described as a “vicious act of cruelty which is prohibited under international law” by Amnesty International.

The US and international rights groups have called on Saudi Arabia to cancel the punishment.

Saudi Arabia decided to postpone the planned 50 lashes for Raef Badawi on Friday January 16, on ‘medical grounds. The Saudi authorities said he would not face his punishment, having not recovered fully from the first installment of lashings. Amnesty International had stated that a medical examination showed that Badawi's earlier "wounds had not yet healed properly and that he would not be able to withstand another round of lashes at this time." And the doctor who carried out the examination recommended postponing the flogging.
#Raef_Badawi, #Saudi_Arabia
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