January 13, 2016 4:29 pm

Sister of jailed blogger Raif Badawi released in Saudi Arabia

Ensaf Haidar stands next to a poster of a book of articles written by the imprisoned Saudi blogger and Haidar's husband, Raif Badawi, on June 16, 2015 in Montreal.


MONTREAL – Amnesty International’s Quebec branch says the eldest sister of jailed Saudi blogger Raif Badawi has been released after 24 hours in detention.

Samar Badawi was freed sometime earlier today from a Saudi jail but a spokeswoman for Amnesty says it isn’t clear under what conditions.

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Badawi was detained for allegedly posting on the Twitter account of her brother’s lawyer, Waleed Abulkhair.

It’s unclear if there was a bail attached to her release, but Amnesty’s spokeswoman Anne Ste-Marie says Samar Badawi is due back with authorities for interrogation on Thursday.

Raif Badawi, who is not a Canadian citizen, was arrested in 2012 for his criticism of Saudi clerics and was convicted in 2014.

He was sentenced to 10 years in jail as well as 1,000 lashes. He received the first 50 last January during a public flogging.

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His imprisonment has drawn widespread condemnation both internationally and in Canada.

Raif Badawi’s wife and their three children live in Sherbrooke, Que.

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