Campaign group Republic has today called on Prince Charles to condemn the flogging of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi and distance himself from the Saudi royals.

Republic has previously accused Charles of hypocrisy when he has spoken out on human rights abuses in Iraq and China while maintaining close personal friendships with the Saudi royals.

Graham Smith, Republic's CEO, said today:

"Prince Charles is personal friends with the dictators of Saudi Arabia, people who are willing to use torture and human rights abuses to silence critics and stifle opposition."

"Charles has been ready and willing to speak out on human rights abuses in Iraq, yet remains silent when those abuses are perpetrated by royal friends."

"The flogging of a man for doing no more than speaking his mind is barbaric, and anyone responsible for such an action should be condemned."

"Those who choose to remain friends with dictators capable of such inhumane actions, and who choose not to speak up when they have the opportunity to do so, must also be called to account. On this occasion silence is not an option for Charles - not least because he is closely associated with the perpetrators of this grotesque punishment."

"If Prince Charles - who has a long record of selectively speaking out on human rights issues - refuses to speak out on this issue then we can only conclude that he either supports the flogging or simply puts his personal friendships with Saudi dictators above the interests of innocent victims."

"Charles cannot hide behind the excuse of doing the government's bidding - he has taken a stance against the Chinese government in the past, yet remains close to the Saudi despots."

"Charles's continued silence on the matter - given his close connections with the Saudi royals - raises serious questions about his judgement, values and fitness to be king."

"This is a common theme for the royal family, with Andrew having personal and business relationships with a number of dictators, while the Queen invited a host of murderous leaders to dinner in 2012."

"These relationships and royal silence on these issues raises serious doubts about the judgement and values of the Windsor family."