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May 4th, 2012
11:05 AM ET

December 7th, 2011
06:41 AM ET

Australian man faces 500 lashes in Saudi Arabia for blasphemy

By Brian Walker, CNN

(CNN) – Australia appealed for leniency after its citizen was sentenced Wednesday to 500 lashes and a year in prison by a Saudi Arabian court.

Mansor Almaribe, 45, was found guilty of blasphemy after he was arrested last month in Medina while on a pilgrimage, Australian officials said.

It's unclear what Almaribe, a Shia Muslim from Victoria state, said or did to get arrested.

"The ambassador has urgently contacted Saudi authorities and will make strong representations, including to key figures in the Saudi government, seeking leniency," said Kate Sieper, a foreign affairs spokeswoman.

FULL STORY
- Dan Merica

Filed under: Australia • Islam • Saudi Arabia

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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.

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