Liberal gets 10 years, 1,000 lashes for 'insulting Islam'
Publish Date: May 08, 2014
Liberal gets 10 years, 1,000 lashes for 'insulting Islam'
A Saudi court sentences a human rights group founder to 10 years in jail and 1,000 lashes. PHOYO/AFP/Getty Images
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RIYADH - A Saudi court sentenced Raef Badawi, the founder of a human rights group, to 10 years in jail and 1,000 lashes Wednesday over "insulting Islam," an activist said.

Badawi, who has been behind bars since June 2012, has also been ordered to pay a fine of one million riyals ($266,666/191,846 euros), said the head of the network, Suad al-Shamari.

"He is a prisoner of conscience," said Badawi, pointing out that there is "no criminal charge against him."

The ruling is unjust," she told AFP.

Badawi was sentenced in July 2013 to more than seven years in jail, in addition to 600 lashes, for insulting Islam, the religion of the ultra-conservative kingdom.

Concretely, he had criticised the role of the notorious religious police.

But an appeals court overturned the ruling, sending the case back for retrial.

Prior to his arrest, Badawi's network had announced a "day of liberalism" and called for an end to the influence of religion on public life in Saudi Arabia.


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