#FreeRaif: US should press for release of Saudi blogger

Ensaf Haidar, wife of imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi

Ensaf Haidar, wife of imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi

By Ensaf Haidar, via The Washington Post

On June 17, 2012, my husband, Raif Badawi, the father of my three children and my best friend, was arrested in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia. For nearly three years, as he has languished in prison, my family has been trapped in a nightmare.

Raif is a man of principle and a respected activist in Saudi Arabia. In 2008, he started a blog where readers could openly discuss politics, religion and other social issues. But in Saudi Arabia, one can pay an unthinkable price simply for blogging. Raif was convicted of insulting Islam and violating the kingdom’s repressive information-technology laws.

Then this January, in a show of cruelty, the authorities lashed Raif 50 times. He still faces 950 more lashes and seven more years in prison. I didn’t think there could be anything worse than watching a shaky cellphone video of my husband being publicly beaten in front of a mosque thousands of miles away. But recently I learned of efforts to retry Raif on a charge of apostasy — that he has abandoned or renounced Islam. This information chilled me to my core because, under Saudi law, such a charge is punishable by death — usually by beheading.

If the court finds my husband guilty, I fear we will never see him again. How will my children grow up without their father?….(read more)

CLICK HERE to read the full article by Raif Badawi’s wife Ensaf Haider via the Washington Post

Please share Ensaf’s call to US authorities to #FreeRaif and help him come home to his family!

CLICK HERE to send a tweet to US authorities now!

Raif Badawi was sentenced to 10 years in jail and 1,000 lashes after starting a website for social and political debate.

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11 thoughts on “#FreeRaif: US should press for release of Saudi blogger

  1. The Saudi govt can't beat him because of the public outcry, so now they will kill him instead. What a bunch of bastards

  2. A disgraceful case. Billions watch this with disgust. Think again, be human!

  3. What a despicable act on the part of a government which adamantly needs to prove that it is an enemy of freedom of speech and press. Respect for differences of opinion is sacred in Islam, but not to the Saudi government. Ben Bortin

    • There was just a snippit of video showing the final 3 or 4 hits, still can be found on youtube. A photo of the scene has never surfaced, although it's reported that over 500 people witnessed the punishment. The police at the scene apparently confiscated any cell phone cameras they saw! Photo of scene would be very enlightening i imagine.

  4. What is happening to Raif Badawi ? Is he still a priority for Amnesty International? Or does his wife stand alone in fighting for his freedom? I check this website frequently but hear nothing. What can I as a US citizen do to help this family? Please respond. With thanks.

    • Hi Bevan,

      Thank you for your comment! We are actively campaigning for Raif Badawi's immediate and unconditional release. Just this past Friday, as part of our "Get on the Bus" campaign, we held a rally outside the Saudi Arabian Consulate General to put pressure on Raif Badawi's and Waleed Abu al Khair's release. To take action, please follow this link: amn.st/6012BXpUp Your letters, emails, and calls to authorities make a difference!

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