A Saudi court has imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi for 10 years for “insulting Islam” and setting up a liberal web forum, local media report.
He was also sentenced to 1,000 lashes and ordered to pay a fine of 1 million riyals ($266,000; £133,000).
Amnesty International called the verdict “outrageous” and urged the authorities to quash the verdict.
Mr Badawi, the co-founder of a website called the Liberal Saudi Network, was arrested in 2012.
A Saudi newspaper close to the government reported that he had lost his appeal against an earlier, more lenient sentence of seven years and three months in jail and 600 lashes.
Sure, we can dismiss this as an extreme example of something that is happening in a faraway place but this is precisely where the speech and though police in this country have us heading. In fact, some of the same elements are at work.
Last week’s incident at Rutgers university which dealt yet another blow to freedom of speech and diversity of thought on an American campus was carried out by a largely pro-Palestinian, Israel-hating mob. It was basically Sharia Light. If we keep allowing them small victories like this, the big one will end up being rather easy for them.