Question on Raif Badawi asked in UK Parliament
Member of Parliament for Leeds North West, Greg Mulholland, raised a written question in the House Of Commons today. Written Question - 228725: "To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to secure the release of Raif Badawi and Alaa Abdel Fattah."
The question was answered in Parliament by MP Tobias Ellwood of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office:
"The UK condemns the use of cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment in all circumstances. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond) raised the matter last month with the Deputy Crown Prince, Second Deputy Premier and Interior Minister of Saudi Arabia, His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Naif. My right hon. Friend also raised the case again when he visited the Kingdom on 23 March. The Saudi authorities have confirmed that the case has been referred to the Saudi courts for further consideration.
We have raised this case of Alaa Abdel Fattah in our conversations with the Egyptian government and will continue to do so. We remain concerned by the Protest Law under which Alaa Abdel Fattah was charged. Egypt’s constitution rightly demands respect for freedom of expression and association. I call on the Egyptian government to ensure that they implement these rights for Egyptian citizens, including by reviewing the Protest Law."