Protest on Behalf of Raif Badawi in Ottawa

Raif Badawi is a Saudi blogger who was convicted of apostasy and “insulting Islam” in 2014. He was sentenced to ten years in prison, plus 1,000 lashes to be administered in twenty installments. He received fifty lashes in January of this year, but the rest have been repeatedly postponed. He is said to be in poor health as he languishes in prison.

Mr. Badawi’s wife and children now live in Quebec, and her husband has many supporters in Canada. On November 2 a protest organized by Amnesty International took place outside the Saudi embassy in Ottawa. Xanthippa was there on behalf of Czech Independent TV to report on the demonstration and interview some of the participants.

Many thanks to Victor Laszlo for recording this video, and to Vlad Tepes for uploading it:

To watch the same footage with Czech subtitles, see this program from Czech Independent TV (begins at 10:50).

Below are excerpts from an article about the Ottawa protest that was published last week in The Globe and Mail:

Raif Badawi’s supporters met by closed doors at Saudi embassy in Ottawa

Supporters of Raif Badawi found themselves up against the closed doors of Saudi Arabia’s embassy Monday as they tried unsuccessfully to deliver 31,000 letters demanding the imprisoned blogger’s release.

Badawi, whose wife and three children live in Quebec, was sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his criticism of Saudi clerics.

Demonstrators gathered to hand over the letters and petitions, which come from about 20 different countries, primarily Canada.

But unlike the first time they tried something similar earlier in the year, Saudi officials wouldn’t open the door.

Amnesty International said the timing was deliberate, with a new Liberal government to be sworn in on Wednesday.

Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar, says she would like prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau to work to end her husband’s detention and help him return to Canada.

Hopeful he’d be released when the year began, Haidar said she doesn’t see “a bright side” now.

“I would like for Mr. Trudeau to work on (the file), talk to Saudi Arabian government officials directly and ask that Raif be released from prison,” Haidar said. “I hope soon Raif will be free with us.”

Beatrice Vaugrante, head of Amnesty International’s Francophone branch based in Quebec, was with Haidar in February when she met with Trudeau, who condemned Badawi’s “inhumane treatment” and called for the Canadian authorities to do more to secure his release.

“We can hope that between February and now, there hasn’t been a change in that position and now that Mr. Trudeau will be prime minister, he will take a clear position and intervene,” Vaugrante said.

Vaugrante called it “extremely disappointing, even alarming” that the embassy would not accept the letters, and wondered if it meant communication channels were becoming more rigid.

Last week, Badawi won the Sakharov Prize, a prestigious human rights honour from the European parliament.

7 thoughts on “Protest on Behalf of Raif Badawi in Ottawa

  1. At th risk of being frivolous about a serious, possibly lethal, matter, I wonder how many people got Victor Laszlo’s moniker? He was of course the anti-Nazi resistance hero in “Casablanca”.

  2. This makes me so sick,that I’ve got to tell a joke or two to keep from crying. So here are 2 signs at the Saudi Arabian border crossing:

    ‘Welcome to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, set your watches back 1300 years’.

    ‘ Welcome to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 1300 years of tradition, unimpeded by progress’.

    • But on the serious side, I write letters on behalf of Amnesty International for Raif Badawi and other political prisoners too.

  3. I recommend his wife did not ask for help to Amnesty International, an institution that now makes advocacy for abortion and prostitution. Amnesty International is a disgrace to humanity. The only gift they receive is merited a firing squad with all its paired members to leave for the other world. I still rooting for this guy and his wife, but hopefully it find that receiving help from Amnesty International, it means he will have to repent of this sin ever.

  4. The plight of Badawi is but a symptom of the disease that is islam. Amnesty International like most NGO’s and ‘charities’ (particularly the moslem variety) are greatly experienced at identifying disease symptoms and providing ointments and Band-Aids for them (as long as the free cash keeps flowing in). As for doing something about the disease itself and its causes? Not so great. To do something about the disease AI would have to first identify it and the places it grows and festers. All commenters here are invited to identify the disease and the sources of its infestation and malignant metastasizing. And no it ain’t Buddhism or Judaism or India or Israel.

    Appealing to moslem enabler Shiny Pony Turdeau is like asking Barry Soetoro (aka: Barak Hussein Obama) to acknowledge the threat islam poses to Jews and Israel and subsequently to admit his treaty with Iran is a catastrophic mistake of historic proportion. When Hell freezes over.

    Just as it looked like some islamic relief was ahead for us beleaguered anti-jihadists following US Presidential elections in 2016, Canada insanely elected Turdeau. This mental midget’s greatest role qualification is that he once was a part-time Drama teacher. I wonder how that stacks up against Barry’s vast ‘Community Organizing’ experience? At least America can claim oceans of low information voters as the excuse for election the obamanation not once, but twice. Savy Canadians regularly look down their noses at the dumbed down American electorate and then they elect the Marxist, moslem ingratiating dope wallowing (well I reckon maybe Barry is his equal in this capacity) offspring of the mutt that forced multi-culturism on an unsuspecting Canadian populace the dishonourable Pierre of the same name Turdeau – the samw Pierre Turdeau that rode a motor-cycle around Montreal wearing a German military helmet during WW2.

    I began this several hours ago and stepped out. I just returned to the news of what is un-ravelling in Paris and am sickened. Surely this is the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Surely Americans will now do a full pivot and elect a President that will ‘bomb the s**t out of ISIS’ and finally maybe Americans can expect a repudiation of the moslem Brotherhood fraud occupying the White House. I am severely ticked off.

    Not another moslem allowed inside the borders of North America.

    • Islam is showing its true colors as NAZIism did in the late 1930s. By its actions and its expressed ideology it-like NAZIism-is not compatable with secular democracy.

      I thought Charlie Hebdo was going to be the wake up call. I hope this will be it. But this last attack shows me that this is a war; pure and simple!

      Write your elected officials: No more immegration from Muslim countries.

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