First Published: 2012-12-17

 

Saudi rights activist faces apostasy charge

 

Badawi referred to higher court after lower one’s judge fails to give verdict in apostasy case.

 

Middle East Online

Badawi is co-founder of the Saudi Liberal Network

RIYADH - A Saudi court on Monday referred a rights activist to a higher court for alleged apostasy, a charge that could lead to the death penalty in the ultra-conservative kingdom, activists said.

A judge at a lower court referred Raef Badawi to a higher court, declaring that he "could not give a verdict in a case of apostasy," a rights activist said.

Badawi, who was arrested a June in the Red Sea city of Jeddah for unknown reasons, is a co-founder of the Saudi Liberal Network with female rights activist Suad al-Shammari and others.

The network had announced May 7 a "day of liberalism" in the Muslim kingdom, calling for an end to the influence of religion on public life in Saudi Arabia.

A conference which was to be held in Jeddah for the occasion, was however called off after the organisers said they had been "advised" by authorities not to go ahead.

Sharia Islamic law strictly applied in Saudi Arabia stipulates death as a punishment for apostasy, but defendants are usually given the chance to repent and escape being beheaded.

Saudi blogger Hamza Kashgari was deported in February from Malaysia to the kingdom and is being held in jail to face charges of blasphemy over Twitter comments deemed insulting to the Prophet Mohammed.

Kashgari's comments triggered a wave of calls to execute him, although he said he repented.

 

Up to 1 million more Iraqis risk being displaced

Palestinian 'long shot' legal fight over 1917 British declaration

Calls grow for Syria regime to end Aleppo siege

Erdogan accuses US general of 'backing putschists'

Egypt education system under spotlight

Maternity hospital bombed in Syria's Idlib

'Traitor's graveyard' for coup plotters in Turkey

Government team says leaving UN-backed Yemen talks

Turkey says army to keep up fight against ISIS

UN says it wants control of Aleppo humanitarian corridors

EU enlargement chief warns Turkey to respect rule of law

IS executes 24 civilians after seizing Syria village

French PM mulls temporary ban on foreign-funded mosques

Syria rebels prevent civilians from leaving Aleppo

Turkey widens post-coup purge to businessmen

US says will continue to consider Nusra security threat

Egypt former anti-graft head gets jail term for exaggeration

Rebels form 'supreme council' to run war-torn Yemen

France, Britain call for end to Aleppo siege

Al-Qaeda OKs breaking ties with Syria affiliate

Croatia arrests Kurdish man wanted by Turkey

Tunisian army kills two 'terrorists'

Turkey sees over 40% drop in visitors

Assad offers amnesty to Syria rebels if they surrender

Study says lack of exercise cost world $67.5 billion

Second France church attacker formally identified

Egypt Christians hope for end to discrimination with new law

HRW accuses Syria, Russia of using banned cluster munitions

Post-coup Turkey continues military shake-up

Clinton camp accuses Trump of inviting foreign spying

Morocco arrests 52 suspects planning to set up ISIS branch

Coalition opens formal investigation into Syria civilian deaths

Pope to journalists: 'World at war', but not a religious war

Turkey warns post-coup crackdown ‘not completed yet’

Egypt top Muslim cleric denounces murder of French priest

Russia denies meddling in US election campaign

Syria regime kills 16 civilians in Aleppo assault

Killer of France priest was 'Syria obsessed time-bomb'

Netanyahu defends war record after protest by parents of dead soldiers

44 dead in double bomb blast in Syria Kurdish city

Marketplace bomb in Yemen kills 7

Kuwait jails Shiite MP for insulting Arab Gulf states

Iran presidential election set for May 2017

ISIS claims deadly bombing in Syria Kurdish city

Bahrain tries prominent Shiite cleric