Saudi Arabia: blogger's wife says he risks death penalty

After 1,000 lashings, Riyadh wants retrial for apostasy

02 March, 10:15

    Ensaf Haidar, wife of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi Ensaf Haidar, wife of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi

    (ANSAmed) - LONDON, MARCH 2 - Raif Badawi, the Saudi blogger sentenced to a 10-year prison term and 1,000 lashings for ''offending Islam'' now risks a death sentence, his wife, Ensaf Haidar, told British daily The Independent.

    Saudi Arabia's authorities reportedly want to retry him on apostasy charges, which carry the death penalty in the event of a conviction.

    The blogger's case, whose conviction provides for 50 lashings a week, had raised the protest of rights groups including Amnesty International.

    Badawi, 31, received the first set of lashings on January 9 in a public square in Jeddah, in front of the Al Jafali mosque.

    The lashings were subsequently suspended for medical reasons.

    The US State department and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights have repeatedly called on Saudi authorities to annul the sentence. On February 10, in his first meeting with the Saudi king, Prince Charles had raised the blogger's case, as requested by Amnesty. (ANSAmed)

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