January 12th, 2012
12:22 AM ET

Australian man sentenced to prison, lashes in Saudi Arabia headed home

An Australian man sentenced to 500 lashes and a year in prison after his conviction on blasphemy charges in Saudi Arabia has been pardoned and is headed home, officials said Thursday.

Mansor Almaribe was arrested and convicted in November in the city of Medina.

"Saudi Arabian authorities have granted Mr AlMaribe a pardon from his prison sentence, and his corporal punishment was also greatly reduced and administered in a way that did not cause physical harm," the Australian foreign ministry said in a statement.

The ministry did not elaborate on how the lashing was carried out.

It's unclear what the 45-year-old Shia Muslim from Victoria state said or did to get arrested, but Australia had appealed for leniency after his sentence.

Australian officials said they were told Almaribe made comments "insulting to prophet Mohammed's relatives."

"I don't think my dad would even survive 50 lashes not 500," his son said last month. "He goes to the doctor every week for checks ups. He has knee injuries and back injuries from a car accident and he also has diabetes and high blood pressure."

The family spent weeks searching for the Iraqi-born father of five after he went missing in early November while performing the Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

Blasphemy is punishable by up to a death sentence under the strict Muslim law in Saudi Arabia.

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Filed under: Australia • Saudi Arabia • World
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Malsi Retah

    I cannot understand why proper people like us (Australia), do any sort of business with those maggot head hacking saudis. They have been described as somewhat uncivilised, but I believe they fail the test of even being human beings. If they had no oil, they would be scorned and spat upon as they so richly deserve. They have no class, and behave like someone from St Mary's who wins the lottery. New money.. old maggots.

    January 12, 2012 at 12:31 am | Report abuse |
  2. Kandi

    I agree Malsi, i cant understand why ANYONE does business with them! If there was no demand for their oil than their supply wouldnt mean squat would it! Time to boycott products from these people let them see the error of their ways!

    January 12, 2012 at 1:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Sherri

      You are very naive. They will never see the 'error of their ways'. The Koran tells them to do this. Educate yourself about what they believe. Google 'tenets of sharia' and read the articles. There are many countries that are Islamic that you may not even be aware of. Turkey, Istanbul, Somalia, Yemen etc. That's where all the pirate activity is coming from. It is much more than what we think of as 'middle east'. There are far more countries that are Islamic and follow these rules. Malaysia also. Get the video The Third Jihad and watch it. Please.

      January 13, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Sherri

    Here's what you need to know. No one but Muslims do this kind of thing. And newsflash- they want to criminalize our freedom of speech. They want to make it illegal to criticize Islam. You all need to fight this with every breath you take or WE will end up like this. If you want to see what America will be like when it becomes Muslim, look at any Muslim country now. That's what it will be like. It is barbaric, repressive, especially to women. Google "takeover of America" + Muslim and read the articles on how they propose to make U.S. an Islamic country, within the next 50 years. Believe them.

    January 13, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Malsi Retah

    I agree Sherri, up to a point. The main point being, to wrap Islam up in a large fence takes more balls than anyone in Western Politics has. To then encourage them, (giving them guns appears to work), and eventually they will kill each other to the last person standing, and that will be the end of the problem.

    Just imagine, for one moment, if a follower of Christianity, says "anyone who you don't understand can be tied to a stake and burned to death", the furore that would create!! Oh hang on that was done wasn't it? Yes. The purges and the witch trials. The Catholics seemed to get over that when it was found to be unacceptable behaviour.

    At the end of the day, if you run round killing people because the core tenet of your faith is to kill people who don't agree, then your "faith" needs a bit of structural re-alignment. Australia just jailed a couple of these brain dead ne'er do wells last week for 18 years. There is an excellent start. Now let's see who we can get next. And, just for the record, there are several illegal immigrant management facilties around our outback that would be the perfect solution for the muslim brothers wishing to assist Australia into a somewhat more supportive frame of mind for this sick "religion".

    January 15, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |