Ottawa – Supporters of blogger Raif Badawi, who was imprisoned for nine years in Saudi Arabia, are concerned that Saudi authorities are beginning a new investigation into the man and his refugee wife in Canada.
The Raoul Wallenberg Center for Human Rights sounded the alarm on Saturday when it learned of this latest development.
The Saudis are said to have opened an investigation with Raif Badawi and Insaf Haidar on charges of “influencing public opinion” and “harming the kingdom’s reputation.”
Denouncing that they “add insult to the wound in a long list of oppressive and aggressive acts against him.” Brandon Silver, Director of Policy and Projects at the Raoul Wallenberg Center.
Mr. Silver fears that the Saudi authorities will use this pretext to extend Mr. Badawi’s 10-year sentence, which is nearing its end.
He also protested the fact that Insaf Haider, a Canadian citizen, was “targeted” in an “extraterritorial” investigation.
“It is difficult to discern the practical implications (of these investigations), given the ambiguities of the Saudi regime. But they are certainly very negative,” Me Silver assumed during a phone interview on Monday.
“It is at least an attempt to silence the family,” he said.
Since her arrival in Sherbrooke, Mrs. Haider has campaigned for her husband’s release.
Raoul Wallenberg Center Requests the Canadian government to respond by imposing economic sanctions on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
He would also like the Badawi case to be raised by Ottawa in all its communications with its American and European allies.
On Monday afternoon, the Foreign Ministry simply reiterated that “the Canadian government is extremely concerned about the case of Raif Badawi,” without commenting on this latest development.
We have repeatedly called for pardons. (…) We will continue to express our concerns about his situation in Riyadh and Ottawa, ”one of them said in an email.
In addition, Mr. Silver prefers not to comment on the disappearance of a Saudi refugee who defected in Canada, which was reported by The Washington Post at the end of last week.
“For anyone who wants to defend universal values, freedom, and human rights, it is really disturbing to see this kind of action being taken not only in Saudi Arabia, but also outside Saudi territory,” A – still shows.
According to the Washington Post, Ahmed Abdullah Al-Harbi disappeared in January after a visit to the Saudi embassy in Ottawa. The man has reportedly reappeared in Saudi Arabia two weeks ago.
The American newspaper reported that the defectors who were companions of the man in his struggle in Canada now fear that they will be identified and targeted by the Saudi authorities. Many of them carry out anonymous campaigns to denounce the Saudi regime.