Raif Badawi, the Saudi blogger and activist sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for insulting Islam, has won the EU’s Sakharov prize for human rights.
- The announcement was made with a standing ovation at the European parliament in Strasbourg, France.
About Raif Badawi
He is the creator of the website Free Saudi Liberals, an online platform for political and religious debate. His website hosted material criticizing senior religious figures and Badawi suggested that the Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University had become a den for terrorists.
- Badawi was arrested in 2012 on a charge of insulting Islam and indicted on several charges including apostasy.
- He was convicted and sentenced to seven years in prison and 600 lashes in 2013, and then re-sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in prison plus a fine in 2014. The sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court in June.
About Sakharov Prize
The Sakharov Prize aka Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought is named after Soviet scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov. It was instituted by the European Parliament as a means to honour individuals and groups of people who have dedicated their lives to the defense of human rights and freedom of thought.
- It was established in December 1988
- The prize is accompanied by a monetary award of €50,000