Amnesty calls on Justin Trudeau to make Personal Appeal for Raif Badawi’s Freedom as Five Year Anniversary Approaches

Today, World Press Freedom Day, Amnesty International called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in an open letter to make “a personal, public call” for Saudi authorities to immediately release Raif Bedawi who, on June 17th, will have spent 5 years unjustly imprisoned in Saudi Arabia.
Mr. Badawi has been sentenced to a ten-year prison term, a prohibitive one million riyal fine, and a ten-year travel ban. He was also sentenced to a cruel punishment of 1,000 lashes, to be meted out 50 at a time in public flogging sessions. Amnesty International considers Badawi to be a prisoner of conscience, targeted because of his blogging and because he established a website that encouraged open discussion about issues related to human rights, equality and other important social issues.
Amnesty International believes that Canada is well positioned and has a unique responsibility to urge Saudi officials to release Mr. Badawi on humanitarian grounds so that he can reunite with his family. Mr. Badawi’s wife Ensaf Haidar and their three young children were resettled to Canada as refugees three and a half years ago and have permanent resident status.
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