(Current Affairs) Awards and Prizes | January: 2016

Awards and Prizes

Saudi blogger Raif Badawi wins EU’s Sakharov rights prize

  • Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, who has been sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for insulting Islam and for cyber crime, was awarded the European Union’s prize for human rights and freedom of thought on Thursday.
  • Badawi received the first of his 50 lashes in January, prompting strong criticism in Western countries of the kingdom’s human rights record, including its restrictive laws on political and religious expression and the status of Saudi women.
  • This month in London, he was given the International Writer of Courage award and was co-recipient of the PEN Pinter Prize.
  • Saudi Arabia’s ambassador in London on Monday threatened “potentially serious repercussions” for its ties with Britain unless a more respectful discourse developed.
  • British lawmaker Syed Kamall, a member of the European assembly who nominated Badawi for the EU prize, said, “Saudi Arabia can lock up the man and they can lash him, but they will only strengthen amongst his countrymen the yearning for free speech and debate that he stands for.”
  • A Jeddah court handed Badawi his sentence in 2012 after he criticized the Saudi clergy in a blog and called for changes in the way religion is practiced in Saudi Arabia.

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