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Ensaf Haidar, middle, takes part in a demonstration calling for the release of her husband, Raif Badawi, on Parliament Hill on Jan. 29, 2015.CHRIS WATTIE/Reuters

A Saudi blogger whose family live as refugees in Canada has been spared again from his weekly flogging sentence, Amnesty International said Friday.

For the the crime of criticizing clerics and "insulting Islam," Mr. Badawi, 31, has been sentenced to be flogged 20 times over on successive Fridays, for a total of 1,000 lashes. He has also been given a 10-year prison sentence and fined about $319,000.

As of Thursday, the lashings had been meted out just once, on Jan. 9. The Saudis determined that Mr. Badawi was not healthy enough to undergo beatings in the two weeks that followed.

His wife, Ensaf Haidar, was in Ottawa on Thursday to back federal politicians and Amnesty International in requesting that Prime Minister Stephen Harper personally demand Mr. Badawi's freedom.

Representatives of all political parties stand united in common cause with Mr. Badawi, Liberal MP Irwin Cotler told a news conference. Mr. Cotler, who is acting as the legal counsel for Mr. Badawi and Ms. Haidar, is also enlisting politicians from different countries to press the Saudis to end the "cruel and inhuman" floggings and to release both Mr. Badawi and the lawyer who was jailed for acting on his behalf.

The fact that Ms. Haidar and her children – Najwa, 11; Tirad, 10; and Myriam, 7 – have been given refuge in Canada means this country has a special role to play in trying to end his torture, said Alex Neve, the secretary-general for Amnesty International Canada.

Mr. Harper's spokesman, Jason MacDonald, said the punishment handed to Mr. Badawi "is a gross violation of human dignity" and Canadian officials will continue to raise concerns about his case. But, said Mr. MacDonald, "as Mr. Badawi is not a Canadian citizen, we are limited in the actions we may take on his behalf."

Still, Ms. Haidar said she believes action by Mr. Harper could end her husband's imprisonment. She last talked to Mr. Badawi three days ago by telephone. "He said 'take care of yourself.' I said 'take care of yourself.' "

Among other interventions, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird raised the case of Mr. Badawi with a member of the Saudi Royal Family at a meeting in Switzerland last week.

With reports from Gloria Galloway and The Canadian Press