Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court on Sunday upheld the sentencing of a Saudi blogger, Raif Badawi, who was convicted of insulting Islam, according to a report on the BBC website.
The blogger’s wife told a foreign news outfit that her husband’s sentencing had been upheld by the kingdom’s apex court.
In July 2013, a court initially sentenced Badawi, who is in jail since 2012, to more than seven years in jail and 600 lashes, but an appeals court overturned the ruling, sending the case back for retrial following which he received a harsher sentence of 1,000 lashes along with a 10-year jail term. He was also ordered to pay a fine of one million riyals ($267,000, 192,00 euros).
The blogger’s case attracted worldwide condemnation when he was publicly flogged on January 9 this year. Badawi co-founded the now-banned Saudi Liberal Network along with women’s rights campaigner Suad al-Shammari, who was also accused of insulting Islam and arrested last October.
The charges against Badawi were brought after his group criticised clerics and the kingdom’s notorious religious police, who have been accused of a heavy-handed enforcement of Sharia Islamic law.
His flogging was postponed for the second straight week in January after a team of around eight doctors carried out medical tests on Raif Badawi and recommended against flogging.
The blogger’s case was referred to Saudi Arabia’s apex court after international condemnation followed the first installment of 50 lashes in January.
His wife, who has sought asylum with her children in Canada, had said that the trial had focused on statements he made to France 24 in December 2010 in which he defended liberal thought.