Imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi has been awarded the European Union's highest prize for human rights.

Badawi, who was sentenced to 1,000 lashes and a ten-year prison sentence in Saudi Arabia for insulting Islam, has been given the Sakharov Prize.

Badawi's wife and children fled Saudi Arabia after his arrest and are currently living in Sherbrooke, Quebec.

This week his wife, Ensaf Haidar, said she had been notified that her husband would soon be flogged again.

Prison guards struck Badawi 50 times in January, and were supposed to continue the beatings every week. Instead the beatings injured him so badly that further lashes were suspended.

This prize was established in 1988 by the European parliament to honour people dedicated to human rights and freedom of speech, and is named after Soviet scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov.

Badawi was one of three people nominated this year, with the other nominees being assassinated Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov and the Venezuelan opposition movement Mesa de la Unidad Democratica.