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LI HRC Members Call for Badawi's Release in the Wake of Verdict's Confirmation
Wednesday 22 March 2017 16:03

As the news broke out that the Saudi authorities have confirmed the verdict against the jailed Saudi liberal blogger, Raif Badawi, LI HRC Members Abir Al-Sahlani and Ilhan Kyuchyuk MEP have released a statement calling for his immediate release.

Condeming the confirmation of the verdict as unacceptable Al-Sahlani said: "It's deeply disturbing and truly wrong what the Saudi authorities are doing. Besides the physical abuse being inflicted upon Raif Badawi, the Saudi government wants to silence Badawi with economic means. It's unacceptable, because all humans are born free, including the citizens of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia 

Kyuchyuk expressed his deep disappointment about the decision of the Saudi authorities as he stressed that Badawi's only crime "has been to peacefully exercise his right to freedom of speech and this information leaves us deeply concerned about the possible developments in his case."

Referring to the decision of LI to award the 2016 LI Prize for Freedom to Raif Badawi he further commented saying: "Moreover, he has been awarded the 2016 Liberal International Prize for Freedom because at a time when Europe and the world are facing big waves of radicalisation and extremism, Badawi promotes liberal values in a region where fear of violence and oppression is bigger than ever. I call on the Saudi authorities to respect, protect and fulfil international human rights, release Raif Badawi and all prisoners of conscience and revoke all institutionalized practices which call for an active infringement upon the fundamental freedoms in the Kingdom."

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Raif Badawi was awarded the 2016 LI Prize for Freedom for his courage in standing up for freedom and human rights in Saudi Arabia and the wider region. The ceremony took place during the Bi-Annual LI Human Rights Committee meeting at the European Parlaiment last year which was hosted by Ilhan Kyuchyuk MEP (ALDE Group, LI full-member).

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