The international outrage and pressure was so overwhelming

Another Friday with no lashes for Raif Badawi – and no freedom either, and no relief from the horrible suspense, no relief from the horror of 950 lashes still hanging over him.

The Toronto Star talked to Elham Manea.

“He’s been imprisoned for (about) 1,000 days for doing nothing but expressing an opinion. It’s very unjust,” Manea told the Star.

“I think the international outrage and pressure was so overwhelming that in the end, it wasn’t possible to continue with (the lashes),” Manea said.

She added that Badawi’s supporters are waiting to see if the transfer of his case to a Saudi criminal court two weeks ago will help secure his release. “If not, the campaign will continue.”

The Star also spoke to Ensaf.

“Every Friday, it’s difficult for me and my children,” Ensaf Haidar told the Star. “Every Friday, my children wait and ask questions. It’s very difficult for them.”

In January, Haidar urged Prime Minister Stephen Harper to intervene in her husband’s case.

Amnesty International has declared Badawi a prisoner of conscience, and protests have taken place around the world in solidarity with the blogger.

An online petition calling for his release has garnered over 1.1 million signatures to date.

Hi, King Salman. We’re not going anywhere.


  1. Omar Puhleez says

    All the King has to do is tell us, his loyal subjects and enthusiastic foreign supporters, what to think. And we will duly and loyally think it.
    Perhaps with the odd embellishment.

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