RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (dc. 07) – Saudi Arabian court has sentenced 500 lashes and a year in prison to an Australian citizen on account of blasphemy. The verdict was announced today (Wednesday, Dec. 07), after which Australian government has requested for leniency in the punishment through their embassy in Saudi Arabia.
|Mansor Almaribe's family with his photo|
According to details; the 45-year-old Mansor Almaribe was found guilty of blasphemy after he was detained in November during pilgrimage from the holy city of Madinah, Australian officials said. His family back in Australia is worried about his health
Mansor Almaribe, a Shia Muslim from Victoria State, was convicted of blasphemy and "making comments insulting to Prophet Muhammad's relatives."
Consular officials have been continuously in touch with Almarible and have been talking to him several times on phone since his detention in the mid of last month. The officials from Australian consulate were also present in the courtroom when the final verdict was read out.
A foreign office spokesperson, Kate Sieper, told that their ambassador had contacted key Saudi authorities seeking leniency for their citizen Almarible. It was unclear when the lashing punishment will be carried out.
Blasphemy is punishable by up to a death sentence under the strict Muslim law in Saudi Arabia.