AFP
Last updated: 27 October, 2015

Flogging of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi to resume, wife says

The wife of detained Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, who was sentenced to 1,000 lashes and years in prison for insulting Islam, said Tuesday the flogging will soon resume.

Citing an “informed source,” Ensaf Haidar, who lives in Canada, said “Saudi authorities have given the green light to the resumption of Raif Badawi’s flogging.”

The flogging will take place “soon,” at the prison where Badawi is held, she said on a website dedicated to her husband’s plight.

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Worldwide outrage followed a court decision sentencing Badawi to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for insulting Islam, a verdict upheld this year by Saudi Arabia’s supreme court.

Badawi received the first 50 lashes outside a mosque in the Red Sea city of Jeddah in January but subsequent rounds of punishment were postponed.

Badawi co-founded the Saudi Liberal Network.

He was arrested in June 2012 under cybercrime provisions and a judge ordered the website shut after it criticized Saudi Arabia’s religious police.

The network had also announced a “day of liberalism” and called for an end to the influence of religion on public life.

Haidar said it was unclear why the lashings would resume now. She called on Saudi leader King Salman to “gracefully end my husband’s ordeal and to pardon him,” and allow him to be deported to Canada.

She also pleaded with Canada’s prime minister-elect Justin Trudeau to take up her husband’s case and provide him with travel documents in order to make the trip to this country.

Officials in Quebec province have already said Badawi would be welcomed.