Raif Badawi, co-founder of The Liberal Muslim Network, has been in prison since June 17, 2012, held in Briman, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
The charges against him relate to “apostasy” for which the penalty is beheading and stem from “setting up a website that undermines public security and ridiculing Islamic religious figures.” He was jailed for criticizing Saudi Arabia’s (un-Islamic) religious police – The Commission on the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, when he questioned the illegality of Valentine’s Day. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other human rights organizations consider Raif Badawi to be a prisoner of conscience.
An appeal court recently provided that there was insufficient evidence for the apostasy charge and returned the case to the lower court. But Raif is not free, nor were the charges dropped.
Many Muslims also consider Raif Badawi to be not only a prisoner of conscience but an important example of the oppression endured by one of the most vocal Muslim leaders of our time, in Saudi Arabia.
The acts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in crushing dissent are incompatible with the teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad. Saudi laws are not Islamic and must be changed. Additionally, they are in direct contravention of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations, which is compatible with authentic Islamic teachings.
Currently, Ensaf Haider, Raif Badawi’s wife and his three children reside in Canada. Ensaf is desperately working to free her husband so that the family may be reunited.
More information about his case is here: http://www.amnesty.org/en/raif-badawi
We are encouraging citizens of all faiths and beliefs in every town in the world, where there is a Saudi embassy located to gather on Saturday, May 3rd, 2014, UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day, at the Embassy of Saudi Arabia and demand that Raif Badawi be freed and allowed to reunite with his family, safely.
So far there is interest to hold demonstrations at Saudi embassies in:
Washington, DC - organizer Ani Zonneveld
London - organizer Tehmina Kazi
Zurich - organizers Elham Manea and Kacem Ghazali
The Netherlands - organizer Hashim Jansen
South Africa - organizer Ludovic Mohamed Zahed
Paris - organizer Ludovic Mohamed Zahed
Australia - organizer Shawon T. Khan
New Zealand - organizer Ahmed Alrabeh (email@example.com)
Brazil - organizer Jose Da Silva and Pedro Melo
Rome - organizer
Norway - organizer
Berlin - organizer
Denmark - organizer Akmal Sarwat
Ottawa - organizers Ensaf Haider and Shahla Khan Salter
Please post details of your protest here to spread the word. Please include the time and the contact information of the organizer. Please do not hesitate to set up an event page.