Saudi Arabian activist Raif Badaw
Leaflets promoting the release of Saudi Arabian blogger and activist Raif Badawi who is sentenced to 1,000 lashes and ten years in prison for setting up the Saudi Arabian Liberals websiteTwitter

Saudi Arabian blogger and activist, Raif Badawi, is due to face his second round of 50 lashes on Friday (16 January) after being accused of insulting Islam.

Badawai was sentenced to 10 years in prison, 1,000 lashes and ordered to pay one million Saudi riyals (£157,220) for setting up the Saudi Arabian Free Liberals Forum.

His punishment began last week outside al-Jafali mosque in Jeddah after the Friday prayers.

Badawai will continue to be flogged for the next 19 weeks unless a prison doctor finds him in poor health to continue.

Badawi's floggings have raised an international outcry by human rights' groups and governments, including the US, Canada, Germany and Norway among others who have issued statements urging the Saudi government to drop Badawi's punishment.

Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Programme said: "The world's spotlight is shining on Saudi Arabia. If authorities ignore widespread criticism and unashamedly continue with the flogging of Raif Badawi, Saudi Arabia would be demonstrating contempt for international law and disregard for world opinion.

"Flogging and other forms of corporal judicial punishment violate the prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment. By continuing to dole out this inhuman punishment the Saudi Arabian authorities are flagrantly flouting basic human rights principles."

Speaking to Amnesty International, Badawi's wife, Ensaf Haidar, who is based in Canada said she fears her husband is not physically fit to endure a second round of lashes.

"I told our children about the news last week so that they would not find out about it from friends at school. It is a huge shock for them. International pressure is crucial, I believe if we keep up the support it will eventually pay off. We must keep on fighting," said Haider.

Badawai is not the only Saudi activist to have faced punishment over exercising his right to freedom of speech.

In 2014, a former colleague of Badawi, Su'ad al-Shammari, was charged with "insulting the messenger and the hadith" on Twitter.

There have been several other reported and unreported convictions of journalists and activists in Saudi Arabia who have attempted to voice their concerns on Islam or the Saudi culture.