Blogger Facing 950 Lashes Could Get Death Sentence

Wife says apostasy charge may be reinstated
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 3, 2015 1:30 AM CST
Blogger Facing 950 Lashes Could Get Death Sentence
A protester holds a placard outside the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in London during a demonstration against the flogging of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi.   (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

After an international outcry over the harsh sentence handed out to a Saudi Arabian blogger, the kingdom now appears to have decided a decade in prison and 1,000 lashes is too lenient. Raif Badawi's wife tells the Independent that official sources say charges of apostasy against him may be reinstated. Converting from Islam to another faith is punishable by beheading in Saudi Arabia, and an apostasy charge against Badawi was thrown out of court in 2013 after he told the judge he was still a Muslim. reports the Independent. The prosecution's evidence included the fact that he once liked a Facebook page for Arab Christians.

Badawi's wife, who now lives in Canada with their three children, tells the CBC that she won't stop fighting for his freedom. "We call on the world citizens and governments not to leave Raif dragged by such bigots to death," the family said in a statement. Amnesty International, which is calling for Badawi's release, says it's trying to confirm rumors of a new trial. Badawi was scheduled to receive 50 lashes a week for 20 weeks, but later rounds of lashings have been delayed because of injuries he suffered in the first flogging. (More Raif Badawi stories.)

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