U.S. asks Saudis to cancel 1,000-lash sentence for liberal activist

Reuters News
Posted: Jan 08, 2015 1:52 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States asked Saudi Arabian authorities on Thursday to cancel a sentence of 1,000 lashes given to a liberal activist.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the Saudis should review the case of Raif Badawi, who was arrested in June 2012 and charged with offenses ranging from cyber crime to disobeying his faith. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, a fine of 1 million Saudi riyals ($266,666) and 1,000 lashes last year.

"The United States government calls on Saudi authorities to cancel this brutal punishment and to review Badawi's case and sentence," Psaki said.

(Reporting by Arshad Mohammed and Doina Chiacu; Editing by Bill Trott)