An Australian man of Arab origin has appealed against a sentence issued by a Saudi court last month for one year in prison and 500 lashes after he was convicted of blasphemy, a Saudi newspaper reported on Monday.
The lawyer for Mansor Almaribe, 45, submitted an appeal at court in the western town of Madina against the sentence which was issued early last month, Sabq Arabic language daily said.
It said the lawyer was appointed for Almaribe after his family called on the Australian embassy in Saudi Arabia to intervene in the case.
“The family said they are worried about Almaribe because he is suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure…but they affirmed that he is receiving good treatment in detention,” the paper said.
Mansor Almaribe was arrested in Medina on November 14 while making the hajj pilgrimage and accused of insulting companions of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).
Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said he was sentenced in early December and Canberra's ambassador in Saudi Arabia had been in touch with authorities to plead for leniency.
"The Australian ambassador has been in touch with Saudi authorities after a 45-year-old Australian man was sentenced by a court in Saudi Arabia to one year in jail and 500 lashes," a DFAT spokeswoman said.