A judge in Saudi Arabia has recommended that imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi who was sentenced to seven years in prison and 600 lashes for violating the nation’s anti-cybercrime law go before a high court on a charge of apostasy, which would carry the death penalty upon conviction, according to Badawi’s wife.
Badawi’s wife Ensaf Haidar initially said on Wednesday that her husband had been sentenced to death, CNN reports. As it turned out later, a judge recommended that the blogger be tried for the crime of denouncing Islam, or apostasy. Apostasy carries the death penalty in Saudi Arabia, according to Amnesty International.
A Jeddah Criminal Court found Raif Badawi, who has been in prison since June 2012, guilty this week of insulting Islam through his website and in television comments.
An international rights group condemned the sentencing of a Saudi Arabian website founder to be whipped 600 times and jailed for seven years for violating Islamic values, saying it undermined the kingdom’s stated support for religious debate.
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