PARIS (Web Desk) – Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger who has been sentenced to ten years in prison and 1,000 lashes, has won the European Union’s Sakharov Prize for human rights.
He was arrested for insulting top clerics in Saudi Arabia last year.
According to a statement from European Union Badawi was nominated for the prize, along with three others, the Venezuelan opposition movement Mesa de la Unidad Democratica, and assassinated Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov.
The EU statement said that Raif Badawi was voted by majority members for being a symbol of the fight for freedom of speech.
Meanwhile Badawi’s wife Ensaf Haidar, who was granted asylum in Canada, has confirmed that he will be receiving second 50 lashes of 1,000 lashes sentence soon. She also urged newly elected Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau to help her husband released from Saudi Arabia. Trudeau had previously expressed support for Badawi during his election campaign.
The EU’s freedom of thought award has been named after the Soviet scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov. It was started in 1988 to honour people and organizsations defending human rights worldwide.