Jailed Saudi blogger Raif Badawi awarded human rights prize
Oct.29, Riyadh: Saudi blogger and activist Raif Badawi, who has been imprisoned and publicly flogged for criticizing Saudi Arabia’s religious establishment, was awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought on Thursday, the European Parliament’s top human rights award.
Parliament President Martin Schulz announced the award. He urged Saudi King Salman to free him, so he can accept the prize.
Badawi was sentenced to 10 years in jail and 1,000 lashes in Saudi Arabia for "insulting Islam".
Badawi, 31, was arrested in 2012 on charges that included apostasy, cybercrime and disobeying his father, after he started a website that criticized the Saudi religious establishment.
In 2013, he was sentenced to seven years in prison, and 600 lashes. The next year, he was resentenced, to 10 years in prison, and 1,000 lashes. (He was not convicted of apostasy, which carries a death sentence.
The Sakharov freedom of thought prize has been awarded by the European Parliament since 1988 to individuals or organisations considered to have made a significant contribution to the struggle for human rights and democracy.
The Oslo Times