Blogger Raif Badawi is free but not allowed to leave Saudi Arabia

Blogger Raif Badawi is free but not allowed to leave Saudi Arabia


In 2015, Ensaf Haider posed for the camera a photo of her imprisoned husband – now he is free again.
Image: AFP

Saudi blogger Raif Badawi has been released from prison after ten years. But they are not allowed to leave the country. His wife, Ensaf Haider, hoped that the family would be reunited in exile in Canada.

DSaudi blogger Raif Badawi has been released from prison after ten years in prison, and has not been allowed to leave his country for ten years. It was only after a delay that the judiciary released him. A representative of the Interior Ministry in Riyadh has now confirmed that he should remain in the country. That was the decision of the court and it was final.

This shatters the hopes of Badawi’s wife Insaaf Haider. She lives in exile in Canada and, as she said after her husband’s release, wishes her family could be reunited there.

In 2012, Raif Badawi was sentenced to ten years in prison, a ten-year ban from leaving the country, one thousand whips with a whip or stick, and a fine of one million riyals (about 240,000 euros). Following an international wave of protests, he had to endure 50 whiplashes before the judiciary was suspended with more canes. Badawi co-founded the online forum “The Saudi Liberal” in 2008 and advocated for the separation of state and religion. The Saudi judiciary called it an insult to Islam.

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