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June 7, 2015 - Updated on May 1, 2016

Saudi court shows contempt for human dignity in Badawi case


Reporters Without Borders is appalled by the Saudi supreme court’s irrevocable decision today to confirm the sentence of 1,000 lashes imposed on blogger Raif Badawi on a charge of insulting Islam.

The decision testifies to the Saudi regime’s contempt for human dignity and indifference to international outrage. The court also confirmed Raif Badawi’s 10-year jail term and ban on leaving the country for ten years on completing his prison sentence.

Winner of the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom prize in the netizen category, Badawi received the first 50 of the 1,000 lashes in January but subsequent sessions were postponed on medical grounds.

The Saudi authorities have demonstrated contempt for human dignity and indifference to the international outrage and campaigning prompted by the Raif Badawi case,” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. “We call on the new king, Salman bin Abdulaziz, to show clemency at the start of his reign and to quickly pardon this blogger.”

At a news conference organized by Reporters Without Borders and Amnesty International on 29 May in Paris, Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar, said she hoped he and other prisoners of conscience would be pardoned in the run-up to Ramadan.

Saudi Arabia is ranked 164th out of 180 countries in the Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.