Saudi blogger Raif Badawi awarded Sakharov human rights prize

Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, whose flogging sentence caused an outcry, has been awarded the European Parliament’s Sakharov human rights prize.
Parliament President Martin Schulz urged Saudi King Salman “to free him, so he can accept the prize”.
Mr Badawi was sentenced to 10 years in jail and 1,000 lashes in Saudi Arabia for “insulting Islam”.

Earlier this month he also won the Pen Pinter Prize for championing free speech.
The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought has been awarded by the European Parliament since 1988 to individuals or organisations for their contribution to the fight for human rights and democracy.
It is named after the Soviet scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov.

Flogging postponed

Mr Badawi, author of the website Free Saudi Liberals, was convicted of insulting Islam in 2012 and fined £175,000.
He received the first 50 lashes of his sentence in January, but subsequent floggings have been postponed.
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