Reactions of relief after the release of Raïf Badawi
As Saudi blogger Raïf Badawi has just been released from prison after 10 years in detention in Saudi Arabia, reactions from relatives, elected officials and organizations are coming from all sides on social networks. They are now hoping the man can be quickly reunited with his family.
The news broke Friday afternoon on the Twitter account of Mr. Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar. The information was also confirmed by Amnesty International.
Raif Badawi's daughter, Terad Raif Badawi, did not hide her joy on Twitter. “After 10 years my father is free!” she wrote.
After 10 years my father is free! pic.twitter.com/ZF2GePvHGu
— Terad Raif Badawi (@raif_badawi) March 11, 2022
“Great victory”, according to Amnesty International
L’ Human rights body Amnesty International called the release “a great victory for all Amnesty International members and supporters who have stood up in their thousands” in defense of Raif Badawi for 10 years.
“The release of Raif Badawi after being imprisoned in Saudi Arabia is a great relief, but does not erase the cruel treatment Raif suffered, nor the injustice of his imprisonment. The Saudi authorities must ensure that he is not subject to any other punitive measures, such as a travel ban or a ban on the use of social media,” said Amnesty International campaigner Colette. Lelievre.
Indeed, she points out that Mr. Badawi is still stranded in Saudi Arabia, since he is prohibited from leaving the country for the next 10 years, while his family resides in Sherbrooke, Quebec. She is also banned from using any social media for the next 10 years, which greatly limits her ability to express herself, she laments.
“Raïf Badawi must be reunited with his family in Canada as soon as possible, and the travel ban must be lifted immediately for Raïf and for all human rights activists who cannot leave Saudi Arabia,” asks Colette Lelièvre.
Amnesty International will hold a vigil for Raïf Badawi next Thursday at noon in front of the organization’s offices in Montreal.
Quebec Premier François Legault also reacted to the news on Twitter. “At last! I can't stop thinking about the children who will finally find their father!” he wrote.
Je ne cesse de penser aux enfants qui vont enfin retrouver leur père! https://t.co/4gEoZnIaR7
— François Legault (@francoislegault) March 11, 2022
The Bloc Québécois and elected members of the party, such as Denis Trudel, Gabriel Ste-Marie and Martin Champoux, also rejoiced on the social network Twitter using the hashtag #Raifestlibre.
— Bloc Québécois (@BlocQuebecois) March 11, 2022
— Denis Trudel (@trudel_denis) March 11, 2022
— Gabriel Ste-Marie (@Gabriel_SMarie) March 11, 2022
For her part, the Mayor of Montreal, Valérie Plante, wished Raïf Badawi to enjoy his newfound freedom.
Raif Badawi, qui a été fait citoyen d’honneur de Montréal en 2018, aurait été libéré! Après avoir passé 10 ans en prison pour avoir défendu le respect des droits de la personne et la liberté d’expression, nous lui souhaitons de profiter de sa liberté retrouvée. #polmtl https://t.co/xjEwDBpcE2
— Valérie Plante (@Val_Plante) March 11, 2022