European Union lawmakers are demanding the immediate release from jail of a Saudi blogger sentenced to be flogged 50 times a week over several months for insulting Islam.

The parliamentarians condemned Raif Badawi's flogging as a "cruel and shocking act."

Thursday's resolution was passed by 460 votes to 153, with 29 abstentions.

The 32-year-old father of three was lashed 50 times on Jan. 9, but a second beating was postponed for medical reasons.

Badawi was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes in total for encouraging Saudis to share opinions about the role of religion in the country on his Free Saudi Liberals website.