29 Oct 2015

Raif Badawi wins EU's Sakharov human rights prize

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.

Raif Badawi in 2012

The announcement was greeted on Thursday with a standing ovation at the European parliament in Strasbourg, France, but will be seen by Saudi Arabia as another diplomatic slight at a time when its domestic and international policies are coming under growing criticism. Martin Schulz, the European parliament president, said: “I urge the king of Saudi Arabia to free him [Badawi], so he can accept the prize.”

Named after the Soviet scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov, the award was created in 1988 to honour people and organisations defending human rights and fundamental freedoms. Badawi was one of three nominees this year, along with the Venezuelan opposition movement Mesa de la Unidad Democr√°tica and the assassinated Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov.

More at The Guardian