Victorian man released from Saudi jail

By Cassandra Bedwell, ABC Updated January 12, 2012, 1:15 pm

A Victorian man who was sentenced to a year in jail and 500 lashes in Saudi Arabia has been released.

Mansor Almaribe, 45, from Shepparton, in north-eastern Victoria, was found guilty of "blasphemy" last month while on a pilgrimage to Mecca.

His family feared he would not survive the punishment because of his poor health.

The Department of Foreign Affairs says Saudi Arabian authorities granted Mr Almaribe a pardon and reduced his corporal punishment to 75 lashes.

Mr Almaribe's son, Issam, says he has spoken to his father's lawyer about his condition.

"He said that your dad is so tired, especially after the lashes and his health condition is not really well but he can make it to Australia," he said.

"We feel so happy. We have been waiting for this moment for a long time."

The department says the lashes were administered in a way that did not cause harm or leave marks.

The Australian Government says it appreciates the leniency granted by the Saudi Government.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Blasphemy is irreverence towards religious or holy persons or things.[1] Some countries have laws to punish blasphemy,[2] while others have laws to give recourse to those who are offended by blasphemy. Those laws may discourage blasphemy as a matter of blasphemous libel,[3] vilification of religion,[4][5] religious insult,[6] or hate speech.[7]