The second flogging session of Saudi Arabian online activist Raif Badawi, due to take place on Friday (16 January), was postponed after a doctor concluded he would not be able to withstand another round of lashes as the wounds sustained during the previous flogging "had not yet healed properly".

Badawi was arrested in 2012 for promoting public debate on his site, which has since been closed. Following the arrest, he was sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in prison.

He was publicly flogged 50 times after prayers last Friday (9 January) and was set to be lashed every week for the next 19 weeks until the punishment is complete.

Thousands have joined marches held across several European cities to show their support to Badawi and his family.

London-based NGO The English Pen, which campaigns to defend writers and readers in the world, organised a vigil at the Saudi Embassy in London's Mayfair on Friday 16 January.

Speaking to IBTimes UK, English Pen's head of campaigns and communications Robert Sharp urged the international community "to do a lot more to put pressure on Saudi Arabia's government.

"It's appalling that Saudi Arabia can violate human rights in this way and still be in such good relations with the international community," he said.

"We should not be trading with a country like this. If there is no free expression for Badawi, how can we be sure that information coming from Saudi Arabia is true?

"We cannot trust what Saudi Arabians say, because these floggings are designed to scare people and warn them against saying the truth," he continued.

"Saudi Arabia is destroying Saudi culture and is also insulting Islam: Every Muslim I spoke with is appalled that religion can be insulted in this way."