June 5, 2023

The Queens County Citizen

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The House of Commons has called for Rauf Badavi to become a Canadian citizen

The House of Commons has called for Rauf Badavi to become a Canadian citizen

(Ottawa) Unanimous, Ottawa MP Rauf Badawi is seeking Canadian citizenship.

Lena Dib
The Canadian Press

Elected officials on Wednesday agreed to request the Federal Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister to grant citizenship to the arrested Saudi.

While reading the motion in the House, the leader of the Black Cubacois, Yves-Franois Blanchett, stated that Minister Marco Mendicino had this discretionary power, that the man had found himself in “special and extraordinary circumstances of grief.”

One year ago, in December 2019, the Conservatives opposed a similar resolution, also submitted by Black Cubacois. Mr. Badawi’s spouse, Ensaf Haider, traveled from Sherbrook to Ottawa and was disappointed.

By this time, her partner was on a hunger strike again.

Rif Badawi was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for setting up an online forum to discuss social issues in Saudi Arabia. Saudi officials have accused him of insulting Islam. He has been in jail since June 2012. His wife and three children settled in Quebec.

On Wednesday afternoon, on the phone, Ms. Haider expressed her joy and hope without restraint.

“What happened today is extraordinary! This gives Rauf a lot of hope […], To the whole family. We are Canadians, now he is also a Canadian, ”she said.

Mr. Badawi visits his wife two or three times a week from his Saudi prison; Always pressed short calls. Ms. Hyder believes it is very difficult to tell each other much in such situations.

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“It simply came to our notice then […] Her health, ”she lamented, though she was convinced that“ her courage was not good ”.

She does not know when the next call will come, but at that point, she tells him about this latest development “for her courage”.

And she wants this citizenship to be granted quickly.

“Even if it does not change Rauf’s faith, it will continue until the end of the sentence (in June 2022) .It will increase Rauf’s courage. It will also increase our courage. […] When he gets out of jail, he will be with us soon, ”she believes.

She hopes that when her partner gets out of jail, he will also be out of Saudi Arabia, accompanied by their three children, now 13, 16 and 17 years old.

For his part, Black Cubacois applauded the feat. He was on his third attempt.

“This is the moment we have been looking forward to for almost nine years. […] Now that this is an official request from the House, Justin Trudeau and Minister Marco Mendicino must now take action. Rauf Badavi and his family are counted every day because his health is constantly in danger in prison, ”Mr Blanchett said in a statement released at the end of the day.

Black believes that Canadian citizenship demands that Ottawa provide consular services to Saudi Arabia and release him.