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January 9, 2015

Saudi Arabia begins 1000 lash sentence for blogger

Calls to halt punishment of Raif Badawi, who is accused of insulting Islam online.

Image via Facebook.

Twitter users are rallying in support of a Saudi blogger whose sentence of 1000 lashes began on Friday.

In May 2014, Raif Badawi was sentenced to 10 years in prison and a series of public floggings for allegedly insulting Islam on his website. Badawi's online network also called for an end to the dominance of religion over Saudi public life.

On Friday, Saudi authorities publicly lashed Badawi after weekly prayers. He is due to receive 50 lashes every week for a period of 20 weeks.

Social media users responded to the news of the lashings with the hashtags #FreeRaif#IStandWithRaif and #JeSuisRaif: