Wife of imprisoned blogger Raïf Badawi says she hasn't heard from him in one month
Ensaf Haidar, wife of Raif Badawi, stands next to a poster of a book of articles written by the imprisoned Saudi blogger, Tuesday, June 16, 2015 in Montreal. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)
MONTREAL -- Blogger Raïf Badawi, who has been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia for the last eight years, has not contacted his wife since Jan. 14.
Ensaf Haidar, who lives in Sherbrooke, Que. with the couple's three children took to Twitter Thursday to say she fears the worst.
"All my attempts to contact the prison authorities have failed. They are stalling. This silence is very worrying," she said.
Haidar, who was granted Canadian citizenship a year and a half ago, says Badawi usually communicates with her and their children, Miriyam, Doudi and Najwa, on a regular basis.
She adds this is the first time she has not heard from her husband for such a long period of time.
Raïf Badawi was sentenced in 2012 to 10 years in prison, 1,000 lashes, a ban on journalistic activity and travel for 10 years and a fine equivalent to CAD$1.05 million for creating an online forum to discuss social issues in Saudi Arabia.
Late last month, lawyer and former federal MP Irwin Cotler said he feared for the blogger's life, as well as that of his former lawyer Waleed Abou al-Khair, after they both started hunger strikes in December while in detention in Saudi Arabia.
Cotler, the chairperson of the Raoul Wallenberg Center for Human Rights, has written a letter asking the United Nations (UN) for an emergency intervention.