October 29, 2015 10:36 am
Updated: October 29, 2015 10:51 am

Trudeau urged to help secure release of jailed Saudi blogger Raif Badawi

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.


The wife of jailed Saudi blogger Raif Badawi is pleading with Justin Trudeau and the incoming Liberal government to help her husband come to Canada over fears authorities will continue to flog him.

Ensaf Haidar called on prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau to intervene with the Saudi government on Badawi’s behalf and grant him refugee status.

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“I ask the new Prime Minister of Canada, Mr. Justin Trudeau to act quickly to support Raif and ensure his release,” Haidar said in a statement. “We ask [Trudeau] to grant [Raif] refugee status to enable him to be with his family in Canada.”

Badawi, who is not a Canadian citizen, was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for criticizing Saudi Arabian clerics on his website.

READ MORE: Imprisoned, flogged Saudi blogger Raif Badawi wins top EU rights prize

He was awarded the European Union’s prestigious Sakharov Prize for human rights Thursday, an award that honours people and organizations defending human rights and fundamental freedoms around the world.

Badawi was convicted of insulting Islam and breaking Saudi Arabia’s technology laws with his liberal blog. The 1,000 lashes he was sentence are spread over 20 installments and his flogging has been suspended since he received 50 lashes in January.

Haidar told the Canadian Press she says a source she trusts has told her the lashes are set to resume, but didn’t specifying exactly when.

Outgoing Prime Minister Stephen Harper had joined several other Western leaders in speaking out against Badawi’s treatment along with human rights groups, including Amnesty International, who have called for his release.

Haidar has lived in Quebec’s Eastern Townships with her children since 2013.

© 2015 Shaw Media

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