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19 April 2024

Convicted Saudi blogger to be re-tried: report

Raif Badawi clarified on his wife’s Twitter page

By Staff

Saudi Arabia’s top court has decided to re-try a local man convicted of insulting Islam following growing criticism by international organisations and some governments.

The supreme court asked the criminal court in the Western Red Sea port of Jeddah to re-try Raif Badawi, who has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered lashed 1,000 times, the Arabic language daily Sabq said.

“Informed sources affirmed that the supreme court has referred Badawi’s case to the Jeddah court to review the prosecutor’s charges again him,” it said.

Badawi was flogged 50 times in public in early January as part of the court sentence, which ordered him lashed 50 times a week as part of the 1,000-lash sentence. But the sentence was not carried out in the following weeks and authorities said they postponed the weekly flogging for health reasons.

Badawi was lashed in public near a mosque just after Friday’s open air prayers in the Western Red Sea port of Jeddah, where a large crowd gathered to watch the lashing.

Badawi, founder of ‘the free Saudi liberals’ website, was arrested in July 2012 and charged of insulting Islam and plotting to undermine the regime.

He was sentenced to seven years in prison but an appeals court stiffened the verdict to 10 years, ordered him lashed 1,000 times and fined SR1 million (Dh1m).