Today was Raif Badawi’s birthday: he got 33 years, but he spent this anniversary far from his wife ; today marks also the 5th anniversary of his imprisonment, and his condemnation by Saudi Arabia to flogging and jail; for having defended a free expression , he was sentenced, five years ago, to lashes , in public, as an example, by the King of Saudi Arabia.
The country of Mecca has a strict interpretation of religion and politics, and free speech is inexistent.
According to these principles, he wrote a book, as a testimony of his condemnation: the original title, in English, “1000 lashes”, is now translated in French and German; all the money of the sales go to the Foundation created by his wife, in Canada; part of the benefits goes to support Freedom in the Arab World, which is under threat, as we all know.
On Twitter, Twitter Storms are regularly organized to stand for him. Today, to the usual hashtag #FreeRaif, people added this one: #HappyBirthdayRaif .
Demonstrations in front of Saudi embassies were undertook, the most important in London, that we show in the header.The organization English- pen relay his action in Saudi Arabia by protests, articles in “The Guardian”, petitions, and tweets in favor of his liberation.
At the occasion of this birthday, still in jail, a painter offered to Miss Ensar, Raif Badawi’s wife, a splendid paint of the couple.
As a member of the Foundation, I will buy the book ; as a Muslim, I think that “the Pen is mightier than the Sword”.
Considering the tweets, they were optimistic for the year 2017, hoping Raif Badawi will be free this year.We were numerous , today, to tweet this to King Salman of Saudi Arabia.
To Raif Badawi, we wished a happy anniversary, despite his condemnation; to King Salman, we asked (one more time) #freedom for Raif.