Protest outside Saudi embassy protesting the flogging of Raif Badawi.
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More details from Amnesty International:
Human rights activists in Ottawa will be holding a demonstration outside the Saudi Arabian Embassy, 201 Sussex Drive at 4 p.m. January 15th in protest of the flogging of Saudi Arabian activist Raif Badawi. Raif Badawi will receive his second public flogging this Friday after prayers tomorrow in front of al-Jafali mosque in Jeddah.
Raif Badawi, a Saudi citizen, was arrested in Saudi Arabia on 17 June 2012. They charged him with insulting Islam and creating the “Saudi Arabian Liberals” website for social and political debate. The charges related to articles Raif wrote criticizing religious figures.
After his arrest, his wife and three young children sought refuge in Canada; they now live in Quebec.
Raif Badawi’s case bounced back and forth between courts until 7 May 2014. On that day, the Criminal Court pronounced a sentence of 10 years in prison, 1000 lashes and a fine of 1 million riyals (about $290,000 CDN). After he serves a decade in jail, he is also forbidden to travel for the following decade and from participating in the media.
Since March 2011 the authorities have continued a relentless campaign of repression in the name of security. The authorities have cracked down on peaceful activists calling for reforms and on demonstrators protesting against human rights violations. Those who express dissent face arrest and imprisonment whether they are critics, bloggers, activists or academics. Raif Badawi is just one of many.
Amnesty International considers Raif Badawi a prisoner of conscience and is calling for his sentence to be quashed and for him to be released immediately and unconditionally.