Family calls on more action to help Saudi Blogger on fifth anniversary of his imprisonment
Raif Badawi, who received a sentence of 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes after he criticized Saudi Arabia's clerics on a liberal blog he founded.
The Canadian Press
Published Saturday, June 17, 2017 9:27AM EDT
Halfway through his 10-year sentence, the family of imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi, who is being held in a Saudi Arabia prison, continues to call for Canadian officials to do more to secure his release.
Badawi was first imprisoned on June 17, 2012, on charges that included apostasy and ridiculing Islamic religious figures. He was initially sentenced to seven years in prison and 600 lashes, which was later raised to 10 years and 1,000 lashes.
He received the first round of 50 lashes in January, 2015. The second round has been postponed several times after international backlash.
His wife and three children have sought refuge in Sherbrooke. In a recent video, they said they are disappointed with the lack of enthusiasm shown by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for helping Badawi.
Parti Quebecois MNA Stephane Bergeron had called on the Couillard administration to put more pressure on the federal government, saying Trudeau had campaigned on promises to make every effort to secure Badawi’s release.
Several rallies are planned across Quebec to mark the five year anniversary of the blogger’s imprisonment.