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Court recommends jailed Saudi blogger stand trial for apostasy

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- A Saudi Arabian judge has recommended that jailed blogger Raif Badawi stand trial for denouncing Islam, or apostasy, a charge that carries the death penalty.

Badawi, who has been imprisoned since July 2012, was convicted in July on charges of insulting Islam through his Free Saudi Liberals website and in television comments, CNN reported. He was sentenced to seven years in prison and 600 lashes.

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His wife, Ensaf Haidar, told CNN Wednesday that a court has since recommended that Badawi be tried for apostasy.

Saudi Arabian government officials have not commented on the case.

Badawi came into legal troubles shortly after he launched his website in 2008. At that time, he was arrested and held for questioning for one day.

Amnesty International has said Badawi's case "is clear case of intimidation against him and others who seek to engage in open debates about the issues that Saudi Arabians face in their daily lives."

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