A Saudi blogger sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes has won the European Union’s prestigious Sakharov Prize for human rights.
On Thursday, Raif Badawi was honored as a symbol of the fight for freedom of speech after a vote at the European Parliament in the French city of Strasbourg.
“I urge the king of Saudi Arabia to free him, so he can accept the prize,” Parliament President Martin Schulz said.
Schulz described the Saudi blogger as “an extremely good man, an exemplary man who has had imposed on him one of the most gruesome penalties that exist in this country, which can only be described as brutal torture.”
The award, which is named after the Soviet scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov, was established in 1988 to honor people and organizations that are defending human rights and fundamental freedoms.