Badawi avoids flogging as Quebec announces measures to speed up immigration

WATCH: Blogger Raif Badawi remains in a Saudi Arabia prison for criticizing Islam, but the Quebec government is doing all it can to put him on the fast track to Canada. Quebec’s immigration minister calls the case outrageous and cruel, and she’s spearheading efforts to get Badawi out. Eric Sorensen reports.

MONTREAL – Raif Badawi has again avoided a flogging in Saudi Arabia.

The Amnesty International office in Paris says the postponement comes a few days after the Supreme Court of Saudi Arabia upheld the sentence imposed on the blogger.

READ MORE: Saudi Arabia upholds 1,000-lash verdict against blogger Raif Badawi

Badawi is not a Canadian citizen, although his wife and children fled Saudi Arabia in 2012 and settled in Sherbrooke, Que., in 2013.

WATCH: After Quebec’s immigration minister’s announcement that they would speed upSaudi blogger Raif Badawi immigration, the NDP asked the Feds when they would step in and assist the process.

Quebec’s Immigration Minister, Kathleen Weil, announced Friday morning that the government intended to speed up Badawi’s immigration application by emitting a selection certificate on humanitarian grounds.

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The official certificate will be presented to his wife, Ensaf Haider, in a ceremony next week.

Quebec’s Immigration Minister, Kathleen Weil, announces that Raif Badawi will be granted a selection certificate based on humanitarian grounds. June 12, 2015. Caroline Plante / Global News

The court had sentenced the 31-year-old man to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for criticizing Saudi Arabian clerics. However, after a first session of 50 lashes in January, all others were postponed, apparently due to health concerns.

WATCH: The Quebec government announced it will speed up imprisoned Saudi blogger Raif Badawi’s immigration application by emitting a selection certificate on humanitarian grounds. Gloria Henriquez has details.

Badawi has been imprisoned since 2012 for criticisms in his blog that promotes human rights and democracy in his country.


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