Saudi blogger's second round of lashes postponed

Saudi Arabia's human rights record
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Story highlights

  • Saudi blogger convicted of 'insulting Islam' has second round of flogging postponed
  • Raif Badawi was sentenced to 1,000 lashes
  • Doctors said Badawi was too injured to withstand getting more lashes

(CNN)After enduring wounds from being struck 50 times, a Saudi blogger has been given a reprieve in receiving another 50 lashes this Friday, said Amnesty International.

The case of Raif Badawi has garnered international headlines and global outrage.
Badawi started a blog called "Free Saudi Liberals" in 2008 to encourage discussion about Islam, particularly the intrusion of the nation's religious police in Saudis' personal lives. He was officially charged with "adopting liberal thought," "founding a liberal website," and "insulting Islam."
    A Jeddah court convicted him of "insulting Islam" and handed down a 10-year prison term and ordered that be whipped 1,000 times.
    Badawi received his first 50 lashes in the second week in January and was taken back to prison. He was supposed to be beaten again the third week, but Saudi officials postponed that due to medical advice, the blogger's wife said.
    On Wednesday, a medical committee of about eight doctors assessed Badawi at King Fahd Hospital in Jeddah and determined he was too injured to withstand the beatings this week, according to Amnesty.
    "Instead of continuing to torment Raif Badawi by dragging out his ordeal with repeated assessments, the authorities should publicly announce an end to his flogging and release him immediately and unconditionally," said Said Boumedouha, deputy director of Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa program.
    "Raif Badawi is still at risk. There is no way of knowing whether the Saudi Arabian authorities will disregard the medical advice and allow the flogging to go ahead," Boumedouha said.