A Plea From Raif Badawi's Wife, Ensaf Haidar
You are what hope looks like to my husband Raif Badawi, my children, and to me. You have continued to echo the call for Raif's release, and I'd like to share an insider's update on his case.
On January 9, Raif was brutally beaten by the Saudi government - lashed 50 times - for starting a blog that encouraged social and political debate.
I believe that the ensuing global outcry from people like you has been key to sparing Raif from ongoing weekly floggings mandated by his sentence.
12 weeks and no lashings is a positive development, but until Raif is unconditionally freed from imprisonment, our work is far from over.
I fear that the Saudi government may be delaying Raif's floggings in an effort to wait until the international spotlight fades. I've also heard rumors that Raif may be tried for apostasy, which carries the death sentence. I can't fully express my horror in imagining that.
I'm thankful to you for continuing to take action for my husband's freedom. In addition to ongoing campaigning efforts, Amnesty and other global partners are planning a mass mobilization effort outside Saudi embassies around the world on May 7, which marks the first anniversary of Raif's sentencing to 1,000 lashes and 10 years.
I have been able to speak with Raif fairly regularly since his arrest. I've shared the solidarity messages, and I update him on the activism taking place on his behalf - more than one million actions taken, public demonstrations held in over 10 countries, and hundreds of phone calls and letters flooding Saudi embassies calling for his release. It's amazing.
With your help, I believe we can free Raif. I'll be in touch soon about the May 7 demonstration. In the meantime, you can continue to make a difference by taking action today.
Wife of imprisoned Saudi Arabian activist Raif Badawi