Ensaf's husband, Raif Badawi, was punished with 10 years in jail and 1,000 lashes for voicing his opinion on a blog. Now she's been told that he could even be executed -- but in 48 hours, Germany's Minister of Economic Affairs Sigmar Gabriel will travel to Saudi Arabia and a huge call from all of us can push him to negotiate Raif's release.
Ensaf Haidar's Email
Dear Avaaz members,
My name is Ensaf Haidar and Raif is my husband. Last year, he was sentenced to 10 years in jail and 1,000 lashes for "insulting Islam" -- his crime was that he voiced his opinion on a blog. Raif is a peaceful man and a loving father -- our three children and I miss him dearly and we fear for his life.
Now Germany could help us free him: in 48 hours, Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s Minister of Economic Affairs, will travel to Saudi Arabia -- and if he uses his influence to take a stand for Raif, he could spur Saudi leaders to reconsider.
I have personally asked Sigmar Gabriel for help. But my voice alone is not strong enough. That's why I ask you to support my appeal so that we can see him off with a huge call from around the world to negotiate Raif's release.
A few years ago, my husband Raif Badawi started a blog called "Free Saudi Liberals". He wanted to write about politics and religion, and address social and political issues. But the Saudi judiciary accused him of insulting Islam -- a charge that carries harsh punishments. And Raif's penalty doesn't only affect him: his public lashing sends a warning signal to anyone wanting to express similar thoughts.
Raif and I met 15 years ago. We married two years later and soon after I was already pregnant with my first child. When my husband got into trouble with the authorities in 2008, he asked us to flee the country: we travelled from Egypt to Lebanon and finally arrived in Canada, where my children and I were granted asylum. But now we can't just sit here and watch -- we want Raif to come back to us!
Many people in my country want reform and international attention to Raif's plight is rising. Sigmar Gabriel has already said he'll address human rights during his visit.
With deep gratitude,
Ensaf and the entire Avaaz team.
- Saudi blogger Raif Badawi could be retried and beheaded, say his family (The Guardian)
- Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face death penalty (The Independent)
- Blogger Badawi's wife appeals for help from Germany's Sigmar Gabriel (Deutsche Welle)
- Q&A: Ensaf Haidar, wife of jailed Saudi blogger Raif Badawi (Macleans)
- Flogging of Raif Badawi in Saudi Arabia 'vicious act of cruelty' (Amnesty)
- Saudi blogger Raif Badawi gets 10 year jail sentence (BBC)