Skooter reporting 12/09/11
An Aussia man of Arab origin was arrested last month in Medina while on pilgrimage and found guilty of blasphemy, Australian officials said. Mansor Almaribe’s, case appealed by Australian officials for clemency after he was sentenced Wednesday to 500 lashes and a year in prison by a Saudi Arabian court.
Almaribe, 45, was convicted of blasphemy and making comments insulting to prophet Mohammed’s relatives. Australian officials said it was not clear what Almaribe, a Shia Muslim from Victoria state said or did to get arrested. According to his family he is sick, had back injuries and has diabetes. They are worried about his health.
The Australian ambassador has immediately contacted Saudi authorities to make strong representations seeking leniency, Kate Sieper, a foreign affairs spokeswoman.
Blasphemy under the strict Muslim law in Saudi Arabia is punishable by up to a death sentence.