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Raif Badawi: Flogging case raised with Saudi ambassador

Philip Hammond signalled concern for the blogger, who has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for criticising Saudi Arabia’s clerics

Chris Green
Thursday 22 January 2015 22:01 GMT
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Raif Badawi could be subjected to a second round of 50 lashes today
Raif Badawi could be subjected to a second round of 50 lashes today

The Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond yesterday raised the plight of the blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes with the Saudi ambassador to the UK, as the international outcry against the sentence grew.

A Foreign Office spokesman said today: “We are seriously concerned by Raif Badawi’s case. The UK condemns the use of cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment in all circumstances.”

Mr Badawi could be subjected to a second round of 50 lashes today despite the advice of eight doctors.

The 31-year-old has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes – of which so far only 50 have been carried out – for using his liberal blog to criticise Saudi Arabia’s clerics. His case has prompted an international outcry.

After examining Mr Badawi’s existing wounds, a medical committee of eight doctors yesterday recommended that he should not undergo a second round of lashes on health grounds.

But Amnesty International’s Said Boumedouha said Mr Badawi was “still at risk”.

“There is no way of knowing whether the Saudi Arabian authorities will disregard the medical advice,” he said.

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