Saudi blogger Raif Badawi's flogging delayed for 4th week
Blogger sentenced to 10 years in jail and 1,000 lashes for criticizing Islam
Saudi Arabia has again delayed a planned flogging of a blogger, according to a report from Amnesty International.
The Twitter account of the organization's press office said Raif Badawi was spared a flogging today for reasons not yet known.
- Raif Badawi back in court, future remains uncertain
- Raif Badawi flogged in Saudi Arabia for activism
- Quebec woman's jailed Saudi husband faces whipping
Badawi is serving 10 years in prison and has also been sentenced to 1,000 lashes for the blog criticizing Saudi Arabia's clerics.
The first 50 lashes were delivered on Jan. 9. He was expected to receive 50 more every week for the following 19 weeks, according to Amnesty International.
The next two floggings were postponed on medical grounds and the next round scheduled for Jan. 30 was delayed for unspecified reasons.
Badawi is not a Canadian citizen but his wife and children fled Saudi Arabia in 2012 and settled in Sherbrooke, Que., in 2013.
He was arrested in 2012 after writing articles critical of Saudi Arabia's clerics on his blog, which has since been shut down.
Badawi was originally sentenced to seven years in prison and 600 lashes in 2013, but an appeals judge later stiffened the punishment and fined him one million Saudi riyals, or more than $300,000.
Badawi's detention and sentence have stirred up worldwide condemnation.
Now-former foreign affairs minister John Baird, Development Minister Christian Paradis and Andrew Bennett, Canada's ambassador for religious freedom, have all issued statements condemning the sentence.