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Badawi placed in an isolated prison cell: The ALDE Group calls on Saudi Arabia to immediately release him


27 Jan 2016


Global Europe
Justice & Home Affairs

Saudi blogger, Raif Badawi, Sakharov Prize Laureate in 2015, has been moved to an isolated cell on the second day after he started a new hunger strike. Earlier in December 2015, a few days ahead of the Sakharov Prize award ceremony held by the European Parliament in Strasbourg, he had been already transferred to an isolated prison. According to his wife, Ensaf Haidar, the administration of the prison refused to transfer him to a hospital.  

becerra-web.jpgFollowing the news, ALDE MEP Beatriz Becerra (UPyD, Spain), Vice-President of DROI Committee, in the European Parliament, said:

Defending human rights activists is our responsibility and also in our interest, as it is the only way to preserve our institutional role in the world, to improve democracy and justice for all. Raif Badawi, our Sakharov Prize winner, represents the values we stand for. As a member of the UNHRC, we call on Saudi Arabia to immediately release Badawi from his unjustified imprisonment and to start behaving with respect for Human Rights.

ALDE MEP Marietje Schaake (D66, The Netherlands), who propossed Raif Badawi as candidate for Sakharov Prize 2015, added:

schaake 2 90.jpgWorrying reports have reached us, about the transfer of Mr. Badawi to an isolation prison cell. Once more we appeal to the authorities of Saudi Arabia to intervene in the case of Raif Badawi, whom we consider to be imprisoned unjustly. It is important that his health situation is addressed before it is too late. Mr. Badawi should be reunited with his wife and children as soon as possible, and charges against him should be dropped.”

In May 2014, Raif Badawi was sentenced to 10 years in prison and a series of public floggings for allegedly insulting Islam on his website. He also called for an end to the dominance of religion over Saudi public life. In October, last year, the European Parliament awarded him the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.



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