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Saudi online activist gets 7 years in jail, 600 lashes

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A Saudi activist who set up an online public discussion forum for liberals in the kingdom has been sentenced to seven years in jail and 600 lashes for undermining security, the BBC reported, quoting his lawyers.

Raef Badawi, co-founded the Free Saudi Liberals website, was arrested last year and on Monday he was convicted of threatening the national security his his online forum, the BBC reported, quoting his lawyers.

Amnesty International has called for the “immediate and unconditional release of Badawi as he has been detained and charged solely for the legitimate, peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression.”

Badawi, 29, and father of three told the judge that he was a Muslim but stressed that that "everyone has a choice to believe or not believe," his lawyer told the BBC.

The judged as that the 600 lashes be applied (divided) 150 at a time.