Saudi activist flogged outside mosque in Jeddah

Raef Badawi reportedly received 50 lashes for ‘insulting Islam’

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Saudi blogger Raef Badawi was flogged in public Friday near a mosque in the Red Sea city of Jeddah, receiving 50 lashes for "insulting Islam," news agency AFP said.

In September, a Saudi court upheld a sentence of 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for Badawi, and he is expected to have 20 weekly whipping sessions until his punishment is complete.

The United States, Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders have denounced the flogging, and said Badawi was exercising his right to freedom of expression.

Witnesses said that Badawi, 30, was flogged after the weekly Friday prayers near al-Jafali mosque as a crowd of worshippers looked on.

Badawi was driven to the site in a police car, and taken out of the vehicle as a government employee read out the charges against him to the crowd.

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