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Irwin Cotler, MP

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Statement on Raif Badawi

Posted on January 9, 2015

I am saddened and outraged by Saudi Arabia’s treatment of blogger Raif Badawi, who suffered 50 lashes earlier today as part of his sentence for creating an online forum and ‘insulting Islam.’ Detained since 2012, Mr. Badawi has been sentenced to ten years in prison and 1000 lashes, which he is due to receive over the next several months.

My thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Badawi, as well as with his wife, Ensaf Haider, and their children in Sherbrooke, Quebec.

Mr. Badawi’s cruel and torturous treatment, along with the absence of due process of law, makes a mockery of international norms. I call on the Saudi regime to release Mr. Badawi and to end the widespread repression of dissent, criminalization of free speech, and persecution of human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia.

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