May 22, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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Saudi blogger Rife Badawi has been released after 10 years in detention

Saudi blogger Rife Badawi has been released after 10 years in detention

Saudi blogger Rif Badawi was released on Friday after 10 years in prison and dozens of lashes for criticizing Saudi Arabia’s religious authorities and campaigning for freedom of expression and religion.

Also read: Rife Badawi, 10 Years later

“I have been looking forward to this moment for 11 years. It’s a surprise to me, it’s a surprise, “said his wife, Ensaf Haider, during an interview with TVA in front of Sherbrook City Hall.

MMe Haider heard the news directly from Raif Badawi who phoned her. Saudi officials are due to confirm the written information on Friday.

“She is OK. He had no idea what to say. The world has stopped, ”she said emotionally. Even her children who were there “jumped everywhere” when their mother told them this news.

  • Listen to the statement of Rif Badawi spouse Ensaf Haider:

Blogger’s release from prison does not guarantee he will return to Canada, as he has been banned from leaving the country for 10 years. Family reunification is not for tomorrow.

“So far, I do not know much about the next steps. But now, I want to take advantage of this moment and we will see what the next steps are, ”explained Ensaf Haider.

The Saudi woman ran as a candidate in the 2021 federal election under the banner of Black Quebecois in the Sherbrook area of ​​her adopted city after fleeing the country with her small family in 2013 following the accusation of her spouse.

“We are pleased with this extraordinary development and extend our fullest support to Rife Badawi and Ensaf Haider for the rest,” Black Cubecoise leader Yves-Franకోois Blanchett said on Friday.

In a letter sent in February, Mr.Me Haider has challenged Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to lift the ban.

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“A Modern Hero”

Pascal Paradis, director general of Avocates Sans Frontiers, welcomed the “great news” eight years after he began being implicated in the case.

“Rife Badawi, not only is he a criminal, at the same time, he’s a modern hero of freedom of expression,” he said at the other end of the line.

“He was convicted of opening a Facebook page in which he wrote his thoughts on equality between women and men, his country’s progress needs and invited people to discuss it,” M added.And Heaven.

MAnd Paradise and Avocates Sans Frontieres sought to obtain interim status in a Saudi court after Raif Badawi’s personal lawyer and his sister, Samar Badawi, were jailed.

“We are happy because he deserves freedom and is a hero who shares our values. On the other hand, and it’s unfortunate, he had to serve his entire sentence.

According to the lawyer, Rif Badawi was told “this is not the end of the road” and, due to his travel ban, will not be reunited with his family until further notice.

Mr Badawi called on the Canadian government to intervene in the case, and Blogger called on Saudi Arabia to allow him to leave his country and join his family.

Last year, elected members of the House of Commons backed a resolution introduced by Black Quebecois demanding Canadian citizenship for Raf Badawi.

Mr. Badawi received the Quebec Selection Certificate in 2015, which was awarded “for humanitarian reasons” by the Quebec government at the time.

Obstacle course

After being first arrested in 2008 for his political activism, Raif Badawi was jailed in 2012 for a number of crimes, including blasphemy against Islam and apostasy, and was convicted of “cybercrime”.

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Raif Badavi’s sentence includes torture and 1,000 lashes. As a witness for Amnesty International in 2015 he publicly received the first 50 blows. However, as protests erupted internationally, he was not given the next lash.

“On Friday, January 9, after Friday prayers, Saudi officials took Raif Badawi off a bus into the middle of the square in front of the Al-Jafali Mosque in Jeddah. Large crowds gathered to watch the lashings, ”read a post on the raifbadadwi.org website since 2015.

This website was set up by Ensaf Haider and his relatives.

Quebec Premier Franకోois Legalt highlighted the event on Twitter.

“Finally! I’m thinking of children who will finally find their father!” He said. However, it was too early to decide when the children and father would meet.

The news was welcomed by party Quebecois leader Paul Saint-Pierre Plamandon and Liberal leader Dominic Angled.

Mr Badawi’s release was also celebrated by other humanitarian organizations such as Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders (RSF), which has been involved in the Badawi case for many years.

“Despite a 10-year travel ban, he is safe and we are mobilized to join his family in Canada,” the RSF said in a tweet.