Saudi blogger sentenced to flogging spared for 6th consecutive week following protests

Croak

Authors: Ertig Couture

Members of Amnesty International protested Friday for the release of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi from jail outside the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Mexico City.

The activists held up signs with names and placed photos of prisoners in Saudi Arabia on the grass as part of their demonstration.

Their effort to bring about his release is part of a greater, continuous effort on behalf of Amnesty International to free Badawi; Similar demonstrations have been held outside of Saudi Arabian embassy's across the globe - a move encouraged by the human rights organization on their website.

Badawi was sentenced last year to 10 years in jail, a fine of 1 million riyals ($267,000) and 1,000 lashes for insulting Islam, cyber crime and disobeying his father, which is a crime in Saudi Arabia.

He was subjected to the first round of 50 lashes in early January and was due to be flogged again a week later, yet was spared due to Western pressure to call off the punishment.

He has yet to undergo the second round of his sentence.

Rights watchdog Amnesty International announced on twitter Saturday morning that Badawi's second round of flogging was spared for the 6th consecutive week. Reasons remain unknown yet it is likely due to mounting pressure on the Saudi government to cancel the sentence of 1,000 lashes.

Ensaf Haidar, the wife of the activist, said her husband's health had worsened after the first round of lashes and that he could not possibly survive the full punishment.