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A judge in Saudi Arabia has proposed that imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi who had been sentenced to 7 years in jail and 600 eyelashes for violating the nation's anti-cybercrime law be tried before a higher court on a demand of apostasy, which will bring the demise penalty upon certainty, based on Badawi's wife.
Badawi's partner Ensaf Haidar originally claimed on Saturday that her hubby have been sentenced to demise, CNN reports. Because it turned out later, a judge recommended that the blogger be tried for the offense of denouncing Islam, or apostasy. Apostasy bears the demise penalty in Saudi Arabia, based on Amnesty International.
A Jeddah Offender Judge discovered Raif Badawi, who has been in jail since July 2012, responsible that week for insulting Islam through his site and in tv comments.
An international rights group condemned the sentencing of a Saudi Arabian website founder to be whipped 600 times and jailed for seven years for violating Islamic values, saying it undermined the kingdom's stated support for religious debate.
A court in Jeddah handed down the sentence on Raif Badawi, who started the 'Free Social Liberals' website to discuss the role of religion in Saudi Arabia, Saudi media reported on Tuesday.
"This incredibly harsh sentence for a peaceful blogger makes a mockery of Saudi Arabia's claims that it supports reform and religious dialogue," said Nadim Houry, deputy Middle East director at US-based Human Rights Watch.
The United States said it was deeply concerned about the case.
"We believe that when public speech is deemed offensive, be it via social media or any other means, the issue is best addressed through open dialogue and honest debate," state department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told a briefing on Tuesday.
Ensaf Haidar, Badawi's wife, said she's devastated by the news.
"I don't know what to do," Haidar said Wednesday. "Raif did nothing wrong."
Haidar and the couple's three children now live in Lebanon.
Estranged from her family, Haidar said it would be impossible to take her children back to Saudi Arabia. The stigma is too strong there.
He was forced to leave the country in May that year, after authorities charged him with
"setting up an electronic site that insults Islam". As the charges were dropped he returned to his homeland but continued his online activity, HRW said.