Australian sentenced to 500 lashes

2011-12-07 08:48

Sydney - An Australian man has been sentenced to 500 lashes and a year in jail by a Saudi Arabian court after being found guilty of blasphemy, Canberra said on Wednesday.

Reports said Mansor Almaribe, 45, was detained in the city of Medina on November 14 while making the hajj pilgrimage and accused of insulting companions of the prophet Muhammed.

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said he was sentenced on Tuesday and Canberra's ambassador in Saudi Arabia had been in touch with authorities to plead for leniency.

"The Australian ambassador has been in touch with Saudi authorities after a 45-year-old Australian man was sentenced by a court in Saudi Arabia to one year in jail and 500 lashes," a DFAT spokesperson said.

A consular official attended the sentencing, where Almaribe was initially slapped with a two-year jail term which was subsequently reduced, the spokesperson added.

The Melbourne Age has previously said the father-of-five, who could not afford a lawyer, has diabetes and heart disease, with grave fears for his health.

His eldest son, Jamal, told the newspaper this week that his father had been reading and praying in a group when accosted by religious police and arrested.

  • Mandla - 2011-12-07 09:08

    Just got an idea.... Lets all sponsor a trip for Juju & Jacob to go to Medina.

      Go - 2011-12-07 09:41

      would rather ake 2 years in prison than 500 lashes, reminds me of old school days when 6 of the best made you weak at the knees !!!!!

      Sheik - 2011-12-07 09:44

      Mandla, they can't touch JUJU because there was no blood on his car,making him untouchable

      Ebrahim - 2011-12-07 15:27

      sorry not wanted

  • fishycraig - 2011-12-07 09:09

    I don't care what the apologists for Islam say - this is barbaric. If the Middle-East didn't have oil it would be back in the stone age by now.

      solverman - 2011-12-07 09:21

      If it was not for oil, they would never of had left the stone age

      Sheik - 2011-12-07 09:40

      Just wait for the oil to go and your words will come true.

      fishycraig - 2011-12-07 10:35

      Look, I will say this for the Arab world. They did, and let me stress DID, have a stunning civilisation. It is the current lot with their radicalism that is just so out of place in the modern world. On the one hand they build the tallest buildings around and on the other hand stone adulteresses. It just doesn't gel with me and the civilised world. And, like with everything I suppose, money from oil corrupts.

      Pierre - 2011-12-07 10:51

      These people are one of the strong allies of the United States. Let Iran do something just half as severe and the whole western world cries out; with Saudi Arabia an almost complete silence.

      Garth - 2011-12-07 11:16

      Much as I abhor religion in all of its forms, I must however take exception to your comment: `. . . back in the stone age by now.' The spread of islam from its desert origins, carried with it, knowledge from the great forums of arab learning and teachings. Much of the science and technology that Europe used to power itself out of the dark ages of catholicism, forward into the industrial revolution, was brought out of these lands. Pity that the followers of islam did not follow the true path of this relgion; but then, the followers of which religion have maintained its true course, as per the original tenet?

      fishycraig - 2011-12-07 11:41

      No Garth, you miss my point. I said DID have a fantastic civilisation. But their time of enlightenment is over. If it follows the same route as the Christian world then they are in for a long period of stone age behavior. We are actually arguing the same point. If it wasn't for the Islam world then yes, Europe wouldn't have risen. The fact that the Islamic world was then a bastion of learning and advancement (amongst a few wars and conquests before we think they were a flawless society) makes it even more frustrating. By voicing our opinions on this subject then yes, perhaps we can do for the Islamic world what they did for the Western world. They prevented us from religiously knocking ourselves back to the stone age - let's do the same for them.

  • Nick - 2011-12-07 09:09

    500 Lashes, and a year in jail? Wow, that is excessive. And on top of that he suffers from diabetes and heart disease and has 5 children to care for. I feel very sorry for this man

  • Lynn - 2011-12-07 09:13

    This is sick.

  • Wilma - 2011-12-07 09:13

    Moral of the story = when in Rome, refrain from shooting your mouth off. A lot can be said about Islam, but maybe we should be following the sentences for some transgressions instead of the slap on the wrist, medical paroles and diamond handshakes we have here.

  • francois.delange - 2011-12-07 09:15

    Sy gat gaan brand!

  • Johncarlos ? Biza - 2011-12-07 09:18

    When in Rome.......nobody dragged him to that country.

      vaaldonkie - 2011-12-07 09:26

      With a name like that, he probably IS from Saudi Arabia.

  • vaaldonkie - 2011-12-07 09:26

    "Mansor Almaribe" doesn't exactly sound Australian.

      Lauren - 2011-12-07 09:51

      One can actually be Muslim/ of Arabian descent and be from, for example, Australia. It's been known to happen.

      Fidel - 2011-12-07 19:25

      Ricky Ponting also doesn't sound Australian. Do you know any Aboriginal names.

  • Johnnys_Place - 2011-12-07 09:26

    500 lashes at once ? My knees tremble !!

  • Marius Koen - 2011-12-07 09:26

    Religious Police!!! How ironic.

  • Sheik - 2011-12-07 09:38

    The Fench Minister hit the nail on the head with his recent outburst against Islam.

      Lauren - 2011-12-07 09:52

      If you'd read the story correctly, the French minister you're speaking of was actually a woman.

  • Stephen - 2011-12-07 09:44

    "religious police" What century are these idiots living in?

      fishycraig - 2011-12-07 10:37

      Exactly! Physically they are in the 21st century but psychologically they are a thousand years behind.

      Ken - 2011-12-07 22:39

      The current Islamic year is 1433 AH, from approximately 26 November 2011 (evening) to 14 November 2012 (evening).

  • Right - 2011-12-07 10:54

    Rudd where are you, your missus has an office in Saudi Arabia - you must have pulled some strings to get that organised Now lets see what you can do for an ordinary citizen

  • Mark - 2011-12-07 10:57

    Cowards hide behind religion for they fear the truth and change. Blame it on the devil, it's so much easier than confronting the truth of reality.

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