#FreeRaif: Ensaf Haidar visits London

Today I was honoured to meet Ensaf Haidar – author, activist and wife of imprisoned Saudi blogger Raif Badawi.

Raif Badawi was arrested in June 2012 and charged with ‘setting up a liberal website’. He was sentenced to 1000 lashes and 10 years imprisonment. His case is one of the most egregious human rights abuses in the world right now… and yet the British Government maintains cordial relations with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabi.

English PEN has been holding regular demonstrations outside the Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in solidarity with Raif Badawi. This short video I recorded back in 2015 pretty much sums up (in one unedited take, no less!) the situation, as it was then and as it remains now.

Today Ensaf Haidar joined the Embassy vigil, and explained the importance of such activism:

I have felt so much support for Raif from the human rights community here in London; it is great to know we are not alone. Every voice speaking out in his support matters. We must continue our efforts for Raif’s release so that he is not forgotten.

Ensaf Haidar
Ensaf Haidar, wife of imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi, holds a photograph of her husband while attending an English PEN/RSF vigil outside the embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Mayfair, London, 17 May 2017. (Photo: Robert Sharp / English PEN)

 

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