DUBAI (Reuters) - A court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced the editor of an Internet forum he founded to discuss the role of religion in the conservative Islamic kingdom to 10 years in jail and 1,000 lashes, Saudi media reported on Wednesday. Raif Badawi, who started the "Free Saudi Liberals" website, was originally sentenced to seven years in prison and 600 lashes in July last year, but an appeals court overturned the sentence and ordered a retrial. Apart from imposing a stiffer sentence on Badawi in his retrial, the judge at the criminal court in the Red Sea City of Jeddah also fined him one million riyals ($266,600). Badawi's website has been closed since his first trial. His lawyers said Wednesday's sentence was too harsh although the prosecutor had demanded a harsher penalty, Sabq reported. The ruling is subject to appeal. The prosecution had demanded that Badawi be tried for apostasy, a charge which carries the death penalty in Saudi Arabia. The judge in last year's trial had dismissed the apostasy charges. Badawi was arrested in June 2012 and charged with cyber crime and disobeying his father - a crime in Saudi Arabia. His website included articles that were critical of senior religious figures such as Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti, according to Human Rights Watch. The world's top oil exporter follows the strict Wahhabi school of Islam and applies Islamic law, sharia. Judges base their decisions on their own interpretation of religious law rather than on a written legal code or on precedent. Rattled by the uprisings that destabilized the Middle East in recent years, Riyadh intensified a crackdown on domestic dissent with arrests and prosecutions. In April, prominent Saudi rights lawyer and activist Waleed Abu al-Khair was detained incommunicado after appearing in court in Riyadh on sedition charges, according to his wife. Also in April, a Saudi court sentenced an unidentified activist to six years in jail on charges including taking part in illegal demonstrations and organizing women's protests. Another was sentenced to three years in jail for spreading lies against King Abdullah and inciting the public against him. (Writing by Sami Aboudi; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)
- The Independent
Trevor Noah is hosting the 65th Grammy Awards, with Lizzo, Maneskin and Shania Twain all expected to walk the red carpet
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Another Royal Family Member Reportedly Has Their Eyes Set on Moving Next to Prince Harry & Meghan Markle
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- The New Voice of Ukraine
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- Business Insider
'It's embarrassing for our sport.': Duke University women's basketball coach says her team played first half with the wrong ball
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All westbound I-80 lanes and the number one eastbound lane west of 193 were blocked due to a major injury collision.
- Fox News
The U.S. military says a single sidewinder missile from an F-22 Raptor shot down a Chinese spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina at 2:39 p.m. on Saturday.
- Fox News
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- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The Dallas Mavericks desperately need an All-Star next to Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving could be Rajon Rondo
- The Daily Beast
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- The Daily Beast
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- Marie Claire US
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- Southern Living
What do you think it is?
- IndyStar | The Indianapolis Star
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- The Daily Beast
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