A SAUDI human rights campaigner, who is expected to suffer a public flogging tomorrow, is the inaugural winner of an award named after the last person executed for blasphemy in Scotland.

Blogger Raif Badawi was sentenced last year to 10 years in prison, 1,000 lashes and was ordered to pay a fine of one million riyals (£133,000) for "insulting Islam".

However he was cleared of apostasy, which could have carried a death sentence.

Mr Badawi, the co-founder of a website called the Liberal Saudi Network, was originally arrested in 2012.

He celebrates his 30th birthday this month, but his supporters understand the corporal punishment element of his sentence will start tomorrow in Jeddah.

His wife Ensaf Haidar, fled first to Lebanon before seeking asylum in Canada where she now lives with their three children, two girls and a son.

She has accepted the Scottish Secular Society's (SSS) 'Aikenhead Award' for commitment to secular values.

SSS Chair Spencer Fildes said Mr Badawi was a worthy winner. "The world should be outraged at this assault on a man's liberty.," he said.

"We should remember that here in Scotland we prosecuted and hung a 20-year-old Edinburgh student Thomas Aikenhead for blasphemy in 1697 with the full support of the Church of Scotland. This is uniting the world in its support for common humanity and compassion."

SSS Vice Chair, Ramin Forghani said: "Raif's situation is a clear violation of human rights by Saudi authorities. The Saudi Arabian government is a member of United Nations Human Rights Council and should answer to the international community about this matter and cease implementation of the verdict."

Ms Haidar expressed her "sincere appreciation and gratitude" to the Scottish Secular Society for its support.

She said he was imprisoned just because he expressed liberal opinions.

"What my husband Raif was subjected to is an inquisition, done in the name of the Saudi interpretation of religion."

Aikenhead was executed in Edinburgh 418 years ago today.

It was said that in conversation Aikenhead had repeatedly "ridiculed the Holy Scriptures", called the Old Testament "Ezra's fables" and said that Christ was an imposter.

He pleaded for mercy and retracted everything he had said. But he was condemned for "wicked blasphemies against God and our Saviour Jesus Christ".

When Aikenhead was found guilty the Lord Advocate Sir James Stewart declared "you ought to be punished with death... to the example and terror of others.'

The Saudi Arabian embassy in London was asked to comment on the SSS award, but did not respond.