(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Saudi Arabia's supreme court has upheld a sentence of 10 years in jail and 1,000 lashes against blogger Raif Badawi on charges of insulting Islam, his wife said on Sunday.
The judgement came despite worldwide outrage over his case and criticism from the UN, US, the European Union, Canada and others.
"This is a final decision that is irrevocable," Ensaf Haidar told AFP in a telephone interview from Canada. "This decision has shocked me."
Badawi received the first 50 of the 1,000 lashes he was sentenced to outside a mosque in the Red Sea city of Jeddah on January 9. Subsequent rounds of punishment were postponed on medical grounds.
Badawi's wife expressed fear that the implementation of the flogging sentence "might resume next week."
Badawi co-founded the Saudi Liberal Network Internet discussion group.
He was arrested in June 2012 under cyber-crime provisions, and a judge ordered the website shut after it criticised Saudi Arabia's religious police.
The co-founder of the online venue, Suad al-Shammari, was released from jail in February. But Badawi's lawyer, Walid Abulkhair, who is also a rights activist, remains behind bars.
Saudi Arabia in early March dismissed criticism of its flogging of Badawi and "strongly denounced the media campaign around the case".
Badawi's wife and their three children have received asylum in Quebec, in Canada.