Raif Badawi was born January 13, 1984. He is a Saudi Arabian writer, freethinker, and activist. Badawi created the website Free Saudi Liberals to express his views and grant others a platform to encourage freedom of expression. Badawi was arrested in 2012 on a charge of "insulting Islam through electronic channels" and brought to court on several charges, including apostasy.
In 2013 he was convicted on several charges and sentenced to seven years in prison and 600 lashes. In 2014 his sentence was increased to 10 years in prison, 1,000 lashes, and a fine of US$267,000. The first 50 lashes were administered on January 9 in the middle of a public square in Saudi Arabia, where a large crowd gathered after Friday prayers.
Raif was handcuffed and shackled while he was beaten in an inhumane scene intended to humiliate him and instill fear into the hearts of anyone who dares to challenge the status quo in Saudi Arabia. The second flogging has been postponed more than 12 times due to Badawi’s deteriorating health.
Badawi is known to have hypertension and his health has worsened since the flogging began. Every week his family lives in fear that he may be flogged once again, a vicious act of violence that could lead to permanent injury or worse.
His wife, Ensaf Haidar, has launched a global campaign calling for his release and has been welcomed by world leaders and free press campaigners across the globe. She lives in Quebec, Canada with her three children, where she was been granted refugee status in 2013.
Raif Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar, said, after hearing about the flogging, “What I felt was indescribable. It was an indescribable mixture of sadness and pain.... It was painfully horrible to imagine what was happening to Raif."
Every week his family lives in fear that he may be flogged once again - a vicious act of violence that could lead to permanent injury or worse.
How You Can Help
10 Years in Jail & 1,000 Lashes:
In Conversation with Raif's wife Ensaf Haidar
Bring Raif Badawi home to his family
Download Raif Badawi's Translated Court Order: