Flogging for 
blogger in 
Saudi Arabia

A Saudi blogger convicted of insulting Islam has been flogged 50 times in the Red Sea city of Jeddah as authorities started carrying out his sentence, which includes 1,000 lashes, a witness said.

Raif Badawi was flogged after Friday prayers outside a mosque, the witness said.

His feet and hands were bound but his face was visible. He remained silent during the lashings.

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Badawi was sentenced last May to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes.

He had criticised Saudi Arabia’s powerful clerics on a liberal blog he founded.

Amnesty International said Badawi would receive 50 lashes once a week for 20 weeks.

Saudi Arabia’s close ally, the United States, called on authorities to cancel the punishment.