The US yesterday called on the Saudi authorities to reconsider a “brutal” sentence against jailed liberal blogger, Raif Badawi.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, during the daily press briefing in Washington: “The United States government calls on Saudi authorities to cancel this brutal punishment and to review Badawi’s case and sentence.”
The US is greatly concerned by reports that human rights activist Raif Badawi’s punishment is set to begin, she said
In May 2014, Badawi was sentenced to serve 10 years in prison, receive 1,000 lashes and fined $266,000 after being found guilty of insulting Islam and violating Saudi’s IT laws by setting up the Free Saudi Liberals website.
Psaki stressed that her country strongly opposes laws, including apostasy laws, that restrict the exercise of these freedoms, and urges all countries to uphold these rights in practice.
Badawi will receive up to 50 lashes in front of the Al-Jafali Mosque toay, while the remainder of his 1,000 lashes will be implemented over 20 weeks.