Today’s news from Geneva is that Raif Badawi was given the Geneva Summit’s “Courage Award.” Sally Hayden reports at VICE:
Badawi is the 2015 recipient of the Geneva Summit’s “Courage Award” — sponsored by a coalition of 20 human rights NGOs from around the world.
Dr. Elham Manea, a spokesperson for Badawi, told VICE News that Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar, is “delighted” at the news of the award, and that his children “are thrilled that their father is being recognized and also honored with such a prize from such a human rights summit. It means a lot.”
Manea talked to VICE News while on the train to Geneva, where she accepted the award on Badawi’s behalf. Haidar is currently in Canada, where she emigrated with the couple’s children. Manea added, however, that the family understandably remains very concerned about Badawi’s health and safety.
Also, they miss him.
During her acceptance speech to the Geneva Summit on Tuesday afternoon, Manea thanked the assembled human rights activists, and said the prize was truly a symbol that we stand “united in our humanity.” She continued: “Why does the Saudi government deny freedoms of speech, religion, and political association to it citizens? As a member of the UN Human Rights Council, why does Saudi Arabia imprison a young man who committed no crime, who only created a blog calling for freedom? Why does it flog a young man with 50 lashes for expressing and opinion? And as a member of the UN Human Rights Council, why does the Saudi government impose a system of gender apartheid on its female citizens?”
In a subtitled video message, Haidar told the summit that she was “astounded” by the honor of the award. “This prize bears a clear message to the Saudi regime, namely that the continued incarceration of Raif is a shame on it,” she said.