Monday, September 21, 2015
ADDENDUM::For wife of imprisoned Saudi blogger Raif Badawi: ‘It’s a life of waiting’ - The Washington Post
Haidar, who lives in exile in Canada with their three young children, is in Washington this week, meeting with members of Congress and officials at the State Department trying to persuade the U.S. government to put more effort into seeking her husband’s release.
“He is just a blogger,” said Haidar, 36, a tiny woman whose speech is careful and contained, and without any trace of anger. “He has been away from his kids and his family for four years, and there is no valid reason for that. He’s just a very peaceful writer.”
“It’s time for the White House to make human rights in Saudi Arabia a top priority,” he said. “For too long the U.S. government has put geopolitics and the energy relationship over the basic freedoms and human rights of the Saudi Arabian people.”
Badawi’s case is seen by human rights groups as part of a campaign by the Saudi government to punish activists, bloggers, journalists and anyone else who challenges the country’s political or religious establishment.
He is the best known of about a dozen or so activists currently in Saudi jails, including Mohammad al-Qahtani, a human rights activist with a doctorate from Indiana University, and Waleed Abulkhair, a human rights lawyer who has represented Badawi. Qahtani is serving ten years, and Abulkhair is serving 15.
For wife of imprisoned Saudi blogger Raif Badawi: ‘It’s a life of waiting’ - The Washington Post