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Irwin Cotler, MP

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Question Period: Immediate Release of Raif Badawi

Posted on June 12, 2015

Hon. Irwin Cotler (Mount Royal, Lib.):

Mr. Speaker, the treatment of blogger Raif Badawi is a violation of Saudi Arabia’s obligations to Canada under the convention against torture.

Now that the Saudi supreme court has upheld Raif’s cruel sentence, the only possible recourse is a royal pardon. It is up to the Prime Minister to take up Raif’s case directly with the Saudi king.

Will the Prime Minister ask the king to mark the beginning of Ramadan with a show of compassion and justice by freeing Raif Badawi and reuniting him with his family in Quebec?

[English]

Hon. Deepak Obhrai (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and for International Human Rights, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, Canada is deeply concerned with the sentence given to Raif Badawi of 1,000 lashes. Canadian officials have raised this matter with the Saudi government.

Canada considers the punishment of Mr. Badawi to be a violation of human dignity, and we continue to call for clemency in this case. This will continue as long as he is being sentenced.

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