Sherbrooke, Que. – The last time Ensaf Haidar spoke to her husband, Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, it was for exactly three minutes. [...]
For insulting Islam on his blog, Badawi was sentenced to 10 years, 1,000 lashes and a fine of $1 million Saudi riyals ($359,000) followed by a travel ban for another 10 years.
“He won’t see Najwa again until she is 32,” Haidar says. “He can’t sleep. He can’t think of anything else.”
It’s been a year since Badawi received the first 50 lashes in front of a mosque in Jeddah, his home town. Mercifully, the other weekly floggings have been suspended, for unknown reasons.
In that year, as Haidar and her children settled into Canada as political refugees, both the Quebec National Assembly and the House of Commons Subcommittee on International Human Rights unanimously passed motions calling on Saudi Arabia to release Badawi and permit him to reunite with his family in Canada.
CATHERINE SOLYOM, MONTREAL GAZETTE
Published: March 5, 2016