At their concert in Montreal last night, U2 made a tremendous tribute to Raif Badawi. Amnesty International had arranged the support, along with tickets for Raif's wife Ensaf Haidar. During the concert the giant screen displayed the photograph of Raif with his 3 children as Bono told all the world to support him.
Iraqi born secularist Faisal Saeed Al-Mutar has supported Raif Badawi's Campaign from the start. Now based in New York, he founded the Global Secular Humanists Movement and Secular Post. He is the Middle East Community Manager at Movements.org
"The punishment of Raif Badawi is shocking and disgraceful. He should be released forthwith, with sincere apologies and such compensation as is possible for the terrible treatment he has endured". So writes one of the greatest minds of the last two centuries, the incomparable Noam Chomsky, this week...
In some ways I feel relatable to Raif Badawi. I’m no Saudi-Arabian writer or activist but like him I set up my own blog and whilst it’s not entitled Free Saudi Liberals, I know for a fact that my forum in which I unashamedly lay bare my ex-Muslim familial roots, while publishing posts of persecuted Christians at the hands of mostly militant, fanatic followers of Islam; would undoubtedly label me as an offense to Islam – more than I already am. Like Raif.
The right to freedom of expression is recognised as a human right, in accordance with Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and also recognised in international human rights law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
This is a freedom song for the freeing of Raif Badawi and every soul that is expressing their inner truth. Raif Badawi has been sentenced to ten years in prison and 1000 lashes plus a fine in 2014 for having set up a website for peaceful discussion about religion and religious figures.Lets stand up for our human rights. Lets spread the message : We want him free. We want to see him reunited with his wife and children.May justice come.PEACE.
I read the first time about Raif Badawi in January after he was flogged in Jeddah. I was immediately surprised and shocked by the harshness of the sentence - 10 years in prison, the equivalent of GBP 175,000 and - 1000 lashes. I thought and still think it's hard to believe that in the 21st century any state would still have the power to lash its citizens.
Saudi verdict against writer Raif Badawi got St Jacob’s Ungdomskör to react. A piece by composer Maria Löfberg, with lyrics found on Mr. Badawi’s blog, was ready to be recorded and all came together a few weeks later in Storkyrkan, Stockholm Cathedral, mid-spring 2015. 'We want life' is a sounding protest against the oppression and abuse of those who practice their human right to have an opinion.
'Playing For Change' is an incredible wordwide movement dedicated to uniting the world through music. We asked the movement to dedicate one of their very special recordings to Raif Badawi... "It's truly awful what happened with Raif, and we appreciate you wanting to show him support through our music. We think our video of "Words of Wonder/Get Up Stand Up" would be most appropriate and would be a great message without needing additional words."
After the horrific Charlie Hebdo attacks the world came together to express its condemnation of the heinous murders and in support of freedom of the press. World leaders joined President Hollande in a stand of solidarity for freedom of expression throughout the world. Even Saudi Arabia's Ambassador to France Mohammed Ismail Al-Sheikh was among those present.
At first Raif Badawi stood out for me from all the thousands of ghastly cases clamouring for our attention online because the punishment was so grotesque. I read that a blogger - that felt close to home, though so far away - had been sentenced to flogging: 1000 lashes, 50 a week so he did not die at once, outside the mosque after Friday prayers. It was a very public, long-drawn out form of torture. Repulsive. Unbearable that it should be allowed to happen, week after week, and in a country which is an ally of ours.
On BBC News: Blogger Raif Badawi has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for criticising Saudi Arabian clerics on his internet blog. British blogger Sunny Hundal said this case, and others like it, mean the UK should stop "hugging" the Saudi regime. In a personal film, he said it was time for the UK to cut these ties and "treat the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with the contempt it deserves".