Saudi court upholds 10-year term for blogger who insulted Islam
A Saudi court on Monday upheld a 10-year jail sentence and 1,000 lashes against a citizen who was accused of insulting Islam.
Raef Badawi had been convicted of creating an anti-Islam website, criticizing senior scholars and mocking national symbols, Al-Madinah newspaper reported.
He was accused of insulting Muslims as well as casting doubt on the existence of houris, the virgin companions of the faithful in Paradise, and the concept of torment in the grave.
He was also charged with inciting his followers to rise up against the country’s authorities.
Badawi, founder of the Saudi Liberal Network, has been behind bars since June 2012. The court had also ordered him to pay a fine of SR1 million and put him under a permanent travel ban.
Badawi was first sentenced on May 7 after the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution pressed the charges. Three Saudi witnesses gave evidence against him in court.
Saudi bloggers had backed the court decision and said the man, being an apostate, deserved harsher punishment.
“The punishment issued by the court is soft compared to the enormity of the crime committed by the man,” said Bandar, a blogger.