Elizabeth May condemns the Use of Torture against Raif Badawi

OTTAWA – The Green Party of Canada condemns the brutal flogging given to wrongfully imprisoned Saudi blogger, Raif Badawi, by the Government of Saudi Arabia.

Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and Member of Parliament for Saanich – Gulf Islands, urged the Saudi Government to unconditionally release Mr. Badawi and ensure that he receives immediate treatment for his injuries.

“The fact that the Saudi Government can condemn the assault of Charlie Hebdo and freedom of the press last week, while brutally repressing free speech is both shocking and appalling,” said Ms. May. “I urge the Saudi Government to immediately end the egregious abuse of human rights against Mr. Raif Badawi and make sure that he receives the appropriate treatment for his injuries.”

Raif Badawi is a blogger in Saudi Arabia who was arrested in 2012 for publishing a liberal blog critical of the Saudi regime. He was sentenced to 10 years in jail and 1000 lashes – 50 weekly lashes for 20 weeks. He received the first of his 50 lashes on January 9, with another 50 expected this Friday. Mr. Badawi was also fined 1 million Saudi Riyals ($266 000 USD).

“We must abide by Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which clearly states that ‘No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,’” concluded Joe Foster, Green Party Critic for Human Rights. “Furthermore, we cannot allow economic and political ties to any nation prevent us from speaking out against human rights abuses, as in the case of Mr. Badawi.”