Saudi blogger Raif Badawi released after 10 years in prison
Today, Friday, his wife said that Saudi blogger Raif Badawi has been released from prison in Saudi Arabia after serving a 10-year sentence for his call for an end to religious influence on public life.
“Raef called me. He’s free,” his wife, Ensaf Haider, who lives in Canada with her children, told AFP.
BREAKING – #SaudiArabia: BloggerRaif_Badawi released after ten years in prison! Reporters Without Borders welcomes this decision and shares the relief of his relatives. We are still willing to ensure he remains safe and able to join his family in Canada despite his 10-year travel ban. pic.twitter.com/rGg5SSSHlN
– Reporters Without Borders (RSF_inter) On March 11, 2022 a Saudi security official confirmed Badawi’s release, saying on condition of anonymity that Badawi “was released today.”
The winner of the Reporters Without Borders Prize for Freedom of the Press was arrested in Saudi Arabia in 2012 for “insulting Islam”, and at the end of 2014 he was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
As a result, the 38-year-old has become a symbol of freedom of expression worldwide.
No details of the terms of his release – including a possible 10-year travel ban – were immediately available.
In an email to AFP, Amnesty International said it would “actively work to lift any conditions”.
“Release Raif Badawi, Saudi human rights defender!” Amnesty International also tweeted.
“Thousands of you have rallied to our side to defend Raif Badawi for 10 years. Thank you all so much for your tireless support.”
Every Friday for nearly seven years, Haidar has held a public vigil for a Bedouin in Canada.
Montreal-based Amnesty International, Colette Lelliver, said his release was a “huge relief”.
“Ensaf was at a loss because it was so surprising,” Leliever said Friday after speaking to Badawi’s wife. “She worked so hard to free her husband that she was overwhelmed with emotion.”
“This is a huge step forward for her,” she added.
The Canadian province of Quebec has cleared the way for Raif Badawi to come to the country if he chooses by placing him on a priority list of potential humanitarian migrants.
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