Quebec reiterates support for blogger Raif Badawi
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.
Published Wednesday, April 1, 2015 12:30PM EDT
The Quebec government has reiterated its support for Raif Badawi, despite a written warning from Saudi Arabia not to meddle in the case of the imprisoned and tortured blogger.
Badawi is serving 10 years in prison and has also been sentenced to 1,000 lashes for blog posts criticizing Saudi Arabia's clerics.
He was flogged 50 times in January but other floggings have been postponed for health reasons.
Quebec's National Assembly unanimously passed a motion condemning the treatment of Badawi, whose wife and three children now live in Sherbrooke.
The Saudi ambassador to Canada sent a letter to the Speaker of the National Assembly on March 10 saying the kingdom of Saudi Arabia does not accept any form of interference in its internal affairs or any attacks in the name of human rights.
Quebec's Immigration Minister responded Wednesday that Quebec will continue to support Badawi.
"We want Raif Badawi to be released from prison and to be able to come here and live with his wife and his children so our reaction is that we're going to continue the mobilization," said Kathleen Weil.
"I think that's the key point is to continue to keep society mobilized. The Quebec government with the Canadian government continue to advocate for Raif Badawi."
Quebec's international relations minister will soon meet with the foreign affairs minister in Ottawa to discuss the Badawi case.