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Saudi Blogger's Flogging Postponed For Medical Reasons

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

An update now on a story we brought you yesterday. The Saudi blogger who was to be publicly flogged again today - 50 lashes - has been given a temporary reprieve. Raif Badawi is serving 10 years in prison for his writings, which Saudi authorities say insult Islam. And he's to receive 1,000 lashes over 20 weeks. Well, today, unexpectedly, Badawi was not flogged. Human rights activist Elham Manea is following the case. And she says today's lashing was apparently postponed for medical reasons.

ELHAM MANEA: Raif Badawi was sent to a medical examination before his flogging session. A doctor examined his back and his body and he insisted that today's session should be postponed in light of his wounds.

BLOCK: And what does that mean - in light of his wounds - what's the implication there, that his wounds haven't healed enough for him to be flogged again?

MANEA: Yes, that basically they have to see if the wounds are in a stage where they could flog him again. And from that perspective, I think it's very clear the brutality of this type of cruel punishment.

BLOCK: Elham Manea says there is another possibility - that international outrage over Raif Badawi's punishment has given Saudi authorities pause.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.