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France: Jailed Saudi writer Raif Badawi awarded Sakharov Prize01:44

France: Jailed Saudi writer Raif Badawi awarded Sakharov Prize

France, Strasbourg
December 16, 2015 at 14:53 GMT +00:00 · Published

President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz awarded the Sakharov Prize to jailed Saudi Arabian writer Raif Badawi, in absentia, at a press conference in Strasbourg on Wednesday.

Sat alongside Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar, Schulz said “we are awarding the Sakharov Prize to a very bold and courageous man.” The prize, which is decided by representatives of the European Parliament, honours Badawi as a symbol of the fight for 'freedom of speech.'

Badawi is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence in Saudi Arabia for allegedly insulting Muslim clerics. On top of his imprisonment the writer was sentenced to 1,000 lashes. “No punishment of this kind is justified, not for a country which is chair of the UN human rights council; [this country] should not be applying such a gruesome sentence to a man who has simply expressed his opinion,” said Schulz.

The Sakharov Prize was established in 1988 by the European Parliament as means to honour individuals and groups who have fought for human rights. Previous winners of the award include former South African President Nelson Mandela.

France: Jailed Saudi writer Raif Badawi awarded Sakharov Prize01:44
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President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz awarded the Sakharov Prize to jailed Saudi Arabian writer Raif Badawi, in absentia, at a press conference in Strasbourg on Wednesday.

Sat alongside Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar, Schulz said “we are awarding the Sakharov Prize to a very bold and courageous man.” The prize, which is decided by representatives of the European Parliament, honours Badawi as a symbol of the fight for 'freedom of speech.'

Badawi is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence in Saudi Arabia for allegedly insulting Muslim clerics. On top of his imprisonment the writer was sentenced to 1,000 lashes. “No punishment of this kind is justified, not for a country which is chair of the UN human rights council; [this country] should not be applying such a gruesome sentence to a man who has simply expressed his opinion,” said Schulz.

The Sakharov Prize was established in 1988 by the European Parliament as means to honour individuals and groups who have fought for human rights. Previous winners of the award include former South African President Nelson Mandela.