Raif Badawi campaign image by Amnesty International
Raif Badawi campaign imageAmnesty International

Despite widespread outcry, the Saudi Supreme Court has upheld the sentence of 1,000 lashes and 10-year imprisonment to local activist and blogger Raif Badawi.

A BBC report on Sunday said that the Saudi Supreme Court had decided to stand by the sentencing by the lower court last year.

Raif Badawi, who set up the website "Free Saudi Liberals", was arrested in June 2012 and charged with offences, including cyber crime, disobeying his father, apostasy and abandoning his faith.

For the last three years he has been in jail for publishing articles that were found to be critical of senior Saudi religious figures and others from Muslim history.

Badawi was convicted in May 2014 for insulting Islam and was fined 1 million riyals (£175,000) and a 10-year jail term. In addition, the court in Jeddah had also sentenced Badawi to 1,000 lashes.

On 9 January 2015, after morning prayers, Badawi was flogged 50 times. This punishment was due to continue every Friday until he received a total of 1,000 lashes. However, it was suspeneded after doctors deemed him not to have recovered sufficiently from the previous punishment.

Badwai's arrest and flogging was critised widely across the globe. Earlier this month, British social media activist Nathan Newman started a campaign -- #Backlash -- to support Badawi. The campaign started on 1 June has now over 5 lakh supporters joining the cause, the DW reported.

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