Prison, 1,000 lashes for Saudi web forum founder

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Associated Press

Posted on May 7, 2014 at 4:03 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 7 at 4:07 PM

JIDDAH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — A state-linked Saudi newspaper says a Saudi blogger has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes on charges related to accusations that he insulted Islam on a liberal online forum he created.

The Jiddah Criminal Court also ordered Raif Badawi to pay a fine of 1 million Saudi riyals, or about $266,000.

Badawi was previously sentenced to seven years in prison and 600 lashes in relation to the charges, but the verdict was overturned on appeal. Sabq Online Newspaper reported that Wednesday's verdict was the result of that appeal.

Badawi has been held since mid-2012, and his Free Saudi Liberals website is now closed.

Amnesty International described the verdict as "outrageous," saying Badawi is "guilty of nothing more than daring to create a public forum for discussion."

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