Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi was awarded a prize for courage at the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy held on Tuesday.
Badawi was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes by the government of Saudi Arabia for “insulting Islam” on his blog, the “Saudi Liberal Network”. He received 50 lashes in early January, which prompted international outcry. He has not been whipped since but remains in prison.
The Geneva Summit Courage Award was given to Badawi during the one-day international meeting of human rights activists and organisations in Geneva. Badawi’s wife appeared via video conference from Canada during the ceremony, and Dr. Elham Manea, a Yemeni-Swiss professor of political science at the University of Zurich, accepted the award on Badawi’s behalf.
Manea, a spokesperson for Badawi, told the news organisation VICE news that Badawi’s wife was "delighted" at the news of the award and that his children "are thrilled that their father is being recognized and also honored with such a prize from such a human rights summit. It means a lot".
The Geneva Summit said in a statement that it hopes the award will bring Badawi’s situation to the attention of the United Nations Human Rights Council, which has never issued a resolution on Saudi Arabia’s human rights record.
Last year's courage award recipient was blind Chinese lawyer Chen Guangcheng.
swissinfo.ch and agencies