Saudi Blogger Gets 10 Years, 1K Lashes

Judge decides liberal Saudi's first sentence was too liberal
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2014 12:19 AM CDT
Saudi Web Forum Founder Gets 10 Years, 1K Lashes
Badawi is a "prisoner of conscience who is guilty of nothing more than daring to create a public forum for discussion," Amnesty says.   (Amnesty International)

(Newser) – Founding an Internet forum to debate the role of religion in Saudi Arabian society has earned a blogger a decade in prison and 1,000 lashes. Raif Badawi, who was found guilty of cybercrime and "disobeying his father"—but not apostasy, which carries a death sentence —was sentenced to seven years and 600 lashes last year and was given the harsher sentence after a retrial, Reuters reports.

Badawi was co-founder of a now-closed site called the "Liberal Saudi Network," which carried articles critical of senior religious figures in the kingdom. He has also been ordered to pay a fine of $266,000, reports the BBC. Amnesty International blasted the sentence as "outrageous" and urged the Saudi government to overturn it. "Badawi is the latest victim to fall prey to the ruthless campaign to silence peaceful activists in Saudi Arabia," the group said in a statement. (Read more Raif Badawi stories.)

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