Raif Badawi News

Raif Badawi News

News releases worldwide concerning Raif Badawi. Many in original language - please use the Google Translate buttons (top right) for approximate translations.

Join the Raif Badawi Vigil this Friday 13th March

English PEN is holding weekly vigils outside the Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in London in support of Raif Badawi, every Friday at 9:00 AM GMT. Read about the vigils here.

EU laments Saudi blocking of Swedish minister's speech

The European Union (EU) has regretted a decision by Saudi Arabia to block the speech of Sweden’s foreign minister at an Arab League meeting. “We regret that the Swedish foreign minister was not able to deliver her speech,” European Commission spokeswoman, Maja Kocijancic, said Tuesday.


'The Kingdom Of Shame'. Article (in French) by Ensaf Haidar, the wife of Raif Badawi, in Canada's La Presse. Translations to follow. Read it here.

Human rights or business? Saudi defence accord sparks storm in Sweden

STOCKHOLM, March 9 (Reuters) - The fate of a defence cooperation accord with Saudi Arabia has triggered a dispute between Swedish business, including powerful arms exporters, and the country's new centre-left government which favours a foreign policy focused on human rights. Read the full article here.

Waleed Abu al-Khair Should Not Be Falling Leaf of Lost Saudi Spring

From www.rightscable.com On July 12, 2012 the Time magazine published a story titled “In Saudi Arabia, Dissent Is Alive and Well, but Only Online or in Private”. The video that accompanied the story shows Saudi rights lawyer, Waleed Abu al-Khiar, on frame 43 second, saying “Every day I say to myself they will arrest me”. On April, 2014 Waleed was on his way to appear before a criminal court in Riyadh after a court in Jeddah sentenced him in October 2013, to three months in prison, but never implemented the sentence...

Raif Badawi Book Launch - 01 April 2015

Raif Badawi's book will launch in Germany on 01 April 2015, published by Ullstein Verlag. Initially in German language, but English, French and Italian translations will follow.

Amnesty UK Petition For Raif Hits Over A Million Signatures

The Amnesty UK petition for the release of Raif Badawi has as of today collected over ONE MILLION signatures - as the people of the United Kingdom show their dismay with Saudi Arabia's government over Raif's unjust imprisonment and sentence of flogging. SIGN THE PETITION HERE.

Saudis block Wallström at Arab League

Saudia Arabia has forced Sweden's foreign minister, Margot Wallström, to postpone an address to the Arab League. “The explanation we have received is that Sweden raised the situation with regard to democracy and human rights and that’s why they don’t want me to speak,” Wallström told news agency TT.

Saudi Arabia 'Surprised and dismayed' at criticism

Saudi Arabia has rejected strong criticism from worldwide media over the treatment of a liberal blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes and ten years in prison for 'insulting Islam' in his blog. Read the story at The Independent.

Gabriel to call for Badawi release, negotiate contracts

German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel has begun his Middle East trip. His first stop is Saudi Arabia, where he leads a business delegation after widespread reports of German weapons exports to the absolute monarchy. Read the full story here at Deutsche Welle.

Norwegian PEN Send letter to King Salman

Norwegian PEN is the Norwegian division of International PEN founded in 1922. Like several European and North-American centers, Norwegian PEN works primarily with freedom of expression-issues, mostly internationally. The following letter was sent to King Salman.

Bianca Jagger joins fight to free Saudi blogger Raif Badawi

Almost two months after jailed Saudi blogger Raif Badawi received 50 lashes in a central square in Jeddah, a campaign calling for his release is growing louder around the world. By: Jillian Kestler-D’Amours Staff Reporter, The Star, Canada

Archbishop Desmond Tutu Writes to King Salman

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, one of the world's most respected religious figures, was moved to write a personal letter to Saudi Arabia's King Salman appealing for the release of Raif Badawi.

Saudi blogger Raif Badawi could be retried and beheaded, say his family

The Judge who cleared Badawi of the capital crime of renouncing Islam has referred his case back to court, say his family, who call for a royal pardon.They claimed to have learned of attempts within the Saudi judicial system to have Raif Badawi retried for the crime, which carries a death sentence. Amnesty International said it was looking into the claims, which could not be verified on Sunday evening. Read the full story here at The Guardian.

The 'Geneva Summit Courage Award' bestowed on Raif Badawi

The Geneva Summit Courage Award has been awarded to Raif Badawi 'for inspiring the world with your extraordinary courage in the defence of liberty and universal human rights'. The Award was voted upon by 20 major Human Rights organisations, led by UN Watch, at The Geneva Summit For Human Rights this week.

Raif Badawi flogging: Coderre says Harper should intervene

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre says Prime Minister Stephen Harper should intervene directly in the case of Raif Badawi, the Saudi blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes for criticizing Islam online. Coderre met with Badawi's wife Ensaf Haidar before introducing a motion at city hall in Montreal on Monday afternoon condemning the flogging.

Raif Badawi flogging condemned by City of Montreal

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre will introduce a motion at city council on Monday that condemns the flogging of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi and asks for him to be sent to Quebec. Published by CBC News Montreal.

Raïf Badawi - Motion unanime à l'Assemblée nationale du Québec

Motion adoptée, en présence de Ensaf haidar, à l'unanimité à l'Assemblée nationale du Québec pour demander la libération de Raïf Badawi, son mari et père de ses trois enfants.  Tous les partis politiques y ont contribué. Des discours émouvants. Vidéo officielle de l'Assemblée nationale du Québec.The MP's at the National Assembly of Quebec unanimously demanded the release of Raif Badawi. His wife Ensaf Haidar was also present for the motion and is currently living with their three children in Sherbrooke - Québec (Canada). Moving and Poignant speeches were delivered by all political parties.

Prince Charles raises blogger case with new Saudi king

The Prince of Wales has raised the issue of jailed blogger Raif Badawi during his first meeting with Saudi Arabia's new king. Prince Charles had been urged by human rights campaigners to discuss the case during his visit. Read the full article here at The BBC.

The facts — and a few myths — about Saudi Arabia and human rights

From The Washington Post. For almost 70 years, Saudi Arabia has been a vital U.S. ally in the Middle East. The relationship, which famously opened in a meeting on the Suez Canal between President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the first Saudi king, Abdul Aziz ibn Saud, is based around shared concerns about regional security and crude oil supplies. It has proved remarkably durable, despite a rapidly changing world.

Nobel Women's Initiative: Free Raif Badawi Now

The Nobel Women’s Initiative has sent an open letter to Prince Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, urging the immediate release of Raif Badawi. Badawi, is a writer and activist from Saudi Arabia and was arrested in May 2014 for creating the ‘Saudi Arabian Liberal’ website for which he was accused of insulting Islam.

Samar Badawi - "We have to push stronger than ever!"

Her husband, human rights lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison, her brother, blogger Raif Badawi, to 1000 lashes and 10 years in prison. And she has been in prison herself - just for defending her right to survive. By Helene Aecherli on Saturday, 31 January 2015.

Ensaf Haidar et Mireille Elchakar Je suis Raïf 2015

Raïf Badawi purge une peine de 10 ans de prison et a été condamné à 1000 coups de fouet en Arabie saoudite. Son crime : s'être exprimé au sujet de la liberté de religion sur son blogue. Pendant ce temps, sa femme, Ensaf Haidar, accueillie au Québec comme réfugiée politique avec ses trois enfants, milite aux côtés d'Amnistie internationale pour le faire libérer.


Depuis la condamnation en novembre dernier par la cour de Jeddah de son époux Raif Badawi, à 10 ans de prison et 1000 coups de fouet, Ensaf Haidar vit avec ses trois enfants dans l'attente perpétuelle d'une clémence de la justice saoudienne. Le 9 janvier 2015, date de la première flagellation du blogueur, la vie d'Ensaf est devenue un calvaire. Et surtout un combat. Celui de libérer son mari à tout prix. La femme de Raif Badawi se livre pour la deuxième fois à Paris Match. Read More...

Saudis 'to review' flogging of blogger Raif Badawi - BBC News

The case of a Saudi blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes has been referred to the Supreme Court by the king's office, the BBC has learned.Blogger Raif Badawi's wife said the referral, made before he was flogged 50 times last Friday, gave him hope that officials would end his punishment.A second round of lashings was postponed for medical reasons.

Saudi Arabia: public flogging of blogger ‘cruel and inhuman,’ says UN rights chief

15 January 2015 – The top United Nations human rights official has issued an appeal to the Saudi Arabia to halt the punishment of Ra’ef Badawi, an online blogger sentenced to public flogging for “peacefully exercising his right to freedom of opinion and expression,” according to the UN human rights office.

A Look At The Writings Of Saudi Blogger Raif Badawi

Raif Badawi was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for setting up a website that championed free speech in the autocratic kingdom. His blog, the Saudi Free Liberals Forum, was shut down after his arrest in 2012.Ian Black analyses extracts from his key published Arabic writings that show a man who risked his freedom to question some of the basic tenets of life in Saudi Arabia - especially the central role of religion. Read the story in The Guardian here.

Prominent human rights lawyer Waleed Abu Al-Khair’s sentence increased to 15 years in prison

On 12 January 2015, the Specialised Criminal Court in Riyadh held a session in which it sentenced prominent human rights lawyer Waleed Abu Al-Khair to serve 15 years in prison; previously this had been 15 years in prison, with five years suspended, but the court removed the suspension and ordered the full sentence should be served. Throughout the hearing his legs were shackled.

Raif Badawi punished for his Free Saudi Liberals blog in Saudi Arabia

Badawi has been held since mid-2012 after he founded the Free Saudi Liberals blog. He used it to criticise the kingdom’s influential clerics who follow a strict, conservative interpretation of Islam known as Wahhabism, which originated in Saudi Arabia.Saudi Arabia is remaining silent in the face of global outrage at the public flogging of the jailed blogger Raif Badawi, who received the first 50 of 1,000 lashes on Friday, part of his punishment for running a liberal website devoted to freedom of speech in the conservative kingdom.

Doudi writes to his dad in prison in Saudi Arabia

A letter from a son... Raif Badawi was jailed for 10 years and sentenced to 1,000 lashes after starting an online forum for social and political debate in Saudi Arabia. Demand his immediate release – write to the King of Saudi Arabia today. Raif's son writes a moving letter, watch the video from Amnesty International.

Saudi Arabia Tries to Silence Center for Inquiry at UN Human Rights Council

Saudi Arabia tries, three times, to stop Center For Inquiry representative Josephine Macintosh from delivering a statement critical of their repeated assaults on freedom of religion, belief, and expression at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland on June 23, 2014.

J’invite Raif Badawi à souper

Cette femme habite Sherbrooke avec ses trois enfants. C’est tout près, Sherbrooke. Je vais l’inviter à souper. Elle vit là sans son mari, comme tant de femmes. C’est banal. Aussi banal que Sherbrooke est tout près. Mais je vais l’inviter à souper avec son mari. Lire la suite.

Saudi blogger Raif Badawi gets 10 year jail sentence

A Saudi court has imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi for 10 years for "insulting Islam" and setting up a liberal web forum, local media report.He was also sentenced to 1,000 lashes and ordered to pay a fine of 1 million riyals ($266,000; £133,000). Read the full story here at The BBC.

Challenging the Red Lines - Stories of Rights Activists in Saudi Arabia

Civil society and human rights activists in Saudi Arabia are struggling for greater popular political participation, judicial reform, and an end to discrimination against women and minorities. Saudi authorities have responded by cracking down on rights defenders, quashing calls for change, and preventing the development of an opposition movement.

Raif Badawi & Saudi Liberals - Video

This video discusses the Raif Badawi Case , where a Saudi court sentenced him for 7 years and 600 lashes for creating a website for free speech expression.

Raif Badawi: Court refuses to charge Saudi blogger

A court in Saudi Arabia has found that a liberal blogger accused of apostasy has no case to answer. The court had the power to sentence Raif Badawi to death had it found him guilty. But it refused to charge him, referring his case back to a lower court.

Saudi Arabia - Oppression of Expression - Support Raif Badawi, Turki Al-Hamad and Hamza Kashgari

Saudi Arabia is a theocratic, Salafi, Islamist state that holds regular public executions for crimes including "apostasy", a charge often used to stifle free speech, dissenting views, and any critical scrutiny of Islam. This video discusses the current ongoing cases of 3 Saudi dissidents who are being targeted by their country's religious and political oppression. Raif Badawi, Turki Al-Hamad and Hamza Kashgari.

Steadfast in pursuing a freer Saudi Arabia

Hamza Kashgari visited me several times before he wrote the ill-fated tweets that led to his arrest in February and then to solitary confinement in a Riyadh prison. We discussed social, political and philosophical issues, including some that are taboo in Saudi Arabia. I warned him that his thoughts, if expressed publicly, would lead religious hard-liners to call for his blood.

Global Voices: Saudis Stymied by Fear. By Waleed Abu alkhair

People in Saudi Arabia don’t have much personal experience of political organisation or protest. But we have watched the uprisings in the region very closely, feeling that these were our revolutions too – we are all Arab and we all feel the pain of dictatorships.