Saudi blogger Raif Badawi likely to be spared flogging on medical grounds for second week

Saudi Arabia could still disregard medical advice and flog Badawi regardless

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The flogging of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi is likely to be postponed for a second time on medical grounds.

Amnesty International said a committee of eight doctors carried out a series of tests on the father-of-three at the King Fahd Hospital in Jeddah on Wednesday and recommended he is not flogged again on Friday.

Badawi, who started the "Free Saudi Liberals" website, was arrested and sentenced to ten years in prison and 1,000 lashes for creating an online forum for public debate and over accusations that he insulted Islam. His website has also been shut down.

Badawi had been due to receive 50 lashes every week for five months. His punishment was postponed for the first time last week after doctors determined his wounds from the first 50 lashes he received had not sufficiently healed.

Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director Said Boumedouha warned Saudi Arabian authorities could still disregard medical advice and flog Badawi anyway.

Condemning the brutal punishment, he said: “Instead of continuing to torment Raif Badawi by dragging out his ordeal with repeated assessments, the authorities should publicly announce an end to his flogging and release him immediately and unconditionally."

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