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Montreal mayor lends support to imprisoned Saudi blogger Raif Badawi

MONTREAL — A blogger with Quebec connections, imprisoned in Saudi Arabia for criticizing the country’s clerics, has found support from Montreal’s mayor.

Raif Badawi is serving 10 years in prison and has also been sentenced to 1,000 lashes for writing blog posts criticizing Saudi Arabia’s clerics.

With Southwest borough mayor Benoit Dorais, Denis Coderre said he plans to introduce a motion at city council on Monday that condemns the flogging of Badawi, and asks for him to be reunited with his family in Quebec.

In addition to condemning Badawi’s detention, the motion also asks that the federal government lobby for his release.

Montreal mayor Denis Coderre with Ensaf Haidar, Raif Badawi’s wife, who lives in Sherbrooke, Que. with the couple’s three children, on Monday, February 23, 2015. Global News

Coderre spoke of the motion on Monday, with Ensaf Haidar, Badawi’s wife who lives in Sherbrooke, Que. with the couple’s three children, and Béatrice Vaugrante, from Amnesty International Canada.

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The mayor’s support comes after a motion was passed unanimously in Quebec’s National Assembly on Feb. 11 motion, calling on the governments of Quebec and Canada to do everything possible to secure Badawi’s freedom.

On Friday,Amnesty International said Saudi Arabia officials had postponed the second flogging of Badawi for a sixth consecutive week.

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