Saudi Arabia condemns foreign criticism of blogger case

A handout picture taken in 2012 in Jeddah and made available by the family on January 16, 2015 shows Saudi blogger Raef Badawi. (AFP)

Saudi Arabia on Thursday condemned foreign criticism of a sentence that the kingdom's highest court upheld against blogger Raef Badawi, rejecting "interference" in its internal affairs.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has condemned statements by some countries and international organizations regarding the case of Saudi citizen Raef Badawi,” the Saudi Press Agency said, citing an official source.

The source said “the judiciary is independent in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” and that it “does not accept any interference in its jurisdiction or internal affairs by any party.”

A lower court's decision in September sentenced Badawi to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for insulting Islam.

Badawi received the first 50 lashes outside a mosque in the Red Sea city of Jeddah on Jan. 9. Subsequent rounds of punishment were postponed.

On Sunday, the kingdom's supreme court had upheld that verdict.

Several countries and rights groups have denounced the flogging, and said Badawi was exercising his right to freedom of expression.

(with AFP)

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:46 - GMT 06:46