A Saudi Arabian appeals court on Monday upheld a liberal human rights activist Raif Badawi's sentence to 10 years in jail and 1000 lashes for "insulting Islam" through his Internet forum.
His partner and co-founder of the right's group Suad al-Shamari said Badawi was punished for "creating a website insulting Islam" and for criticising senior religious watchdogs including Muftis "which we all do" in Saudi.
Surprised at the appeals court's order, Shamari said that the punishment was too harsh, harsher than a terrorist would have received.
"Even the worst terrorists have not received such a harsh sentence. Saudi Arabia is putting together all its efforts to fight terrorism... and finally waking up to the mistakes it has created with its own hands" by following a strict interpretation of Islamic law," Al Jazeera quoted Shamari.
"The only hope now is an amnesty from the king or a swift move by the justice minister to form a fair judicial committee."
Badawi, founder of the Saudi Liberal Network, was in July 2013 sentenced to seven years jail and 600 lashes, which was later increased to 10 years and 1000 lashes in May 2014 along with a fine of one million riyal ($266,666).
Badawi was arrested in June 2012 following complaints filed against him by clerics.