Saudi liberal gets 10 years in jail, 1,000 lashes

Raef Badawi was reportedly accused of insulting Islam through his Internet forum

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A Saudi court sentenced Raef Badawi, the founder of a liberal Internet forum, to 10 years in jail and 1,000 lashes Wednesday over allegations of "insulting Islam.”

Badawi, was also ordered to pay a fine of one million riyals ($266,666/191,846 euros), the website’s co-founder Suad al-Shamari, told AFP.

In August last year a court sentenced Badawi to seven years and three months in jail in addition to 600 flogs “for establishing a liberal website and adopting the liberal thinking and insulting Islam,” according to Saudi media reports.

But a higher court overturned that decision and ordered a retrial by a different court.

Last month, a Saudi court in Jeddah ordered the permanent closure of the website for publishing what was perceived as anti-Islamic content, the Saudi news website Sabq reported.

Sabq said a number of Saudis had demanded the closure of the Saudi Liberal Network for posting stories and comments that are considered against religion and morality.

The website said the court’s decision “prompted good reactions by many of those who had called for such an action and had filed lawsuits against the network and its members.”

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