An Australian man Mansor Almaribe, 45, has been sentenced, on Tuesday 12/06/2011, to 500 lashes and a year in prison after being convicted of blasphemy by judges in Saudi Arabia. He was detained in the city of Medina on 11/14/2011.

Officials in Canberra said they had been in touch with the Saudi authorities to request leniency.

Australian reports named the man as Mansor Almaribe, a Shiite Muslim and a father of five,, from Shepparton in Victoria. Reports said he was chronically ill and family members said they were extremely worried about his health. Mansor Almaribe arrived in Australia in 1999 from Iraq as a refugee and brought his family over 2006

Mansor Almaribe had travelled to the country for a pilgrimage to Mecca. It has been reported he had been reading and praying in a group when accosted by religious police and arrested after, allegedly, insulting and shouting oh them. Saudi Arabia is extremely suspicious, giving the growing rift with Iran, about  Shiite Pilgrimage they consider as one of Iran’s methods to infiltrate into Saudi Arabia pro-Iranian Shiite agents. (see the arrest in 10/2011 of Usama al-Atar).

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs said the judge initially handed down a sentence of two years in jail and 500 lashes, but later reduced the jail time.

On Friday 10/08/2011 9 Bangladeshis were beheaded in public in Riyadh after they were found guilty of killing an Egyptian in 2007. The latest beheadings bring the total number of executions in the country this year to 58, more than twice the figure for the whole of 2010..
* Mansor Almaribe was spared lashes and sent home to Australia on Friday 01/13/2012.


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