Imprisoned Saudi blogger Raif Badawi on hunger strike, wife says

Saudi blogger Raif Badawi in an undated portrait photo.
Saudi blogger Raif Badawi in an undated portrait photo.PHOTO: REUTERS

MONTREAL (REUTERS) - Imprisoned Saudi blogger Raif Badawi has been on a hunger strike since Tuesday after being transferred to a "new isolated" prison, his wife Ensaf Haidar said on Thursday.

Haidar, who lives in Canada where she and their three children were granted political asylum, confirmed the news by phone after tweeting it.

Badawi, who created and managed an online forum, was found guilty in 2014 of breaking Saudi Arabia's technology laws and for insulting Islam.

He was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes.

Badawi received the first of his 50 lashes in January, prompting strong criticism in Western countries of the kingdom's human rights record.

"I call on his majesty King Salman to pardon my husband," Haidar tweeted earlier in the day.

"Please unite my children with their father."