Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for publishing a liberal blog, is to be awarded the International Publishers Association’s Prix Voltaire for his contribution to freedom of speech.
Badawi, who has four children, was arrested in 2012 on a charge of insulting Islam and indicted on several charges including apostasy. He was convicted and sentenced to seven years in prison and 600 lashes in 2013, and then re-sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in prison plus a fine in 2014. The sentence was upheld by the Saudi supreme court in June. In December, it was reported that Badawi had gone on hunger strike.