Ensaf Haidar Shares Letter From Scheer Responding To Effort To Free Her Husband Raif Badawi

Badawi is imprisoned by the ruthless Saudi regime, and many so-called ‘leaders’ have been too cowardly to respond to efforts to free him.

As Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman goes on a charm-offensive throughout the Western world, he has so far refused to take an action that would definitely show his commitment to bringing the country into the 21st century – release Raif Badawi.

Badawi – a writer – is imprisoned by the ruthless Saudi regime, for the ‘crime’ of “insulting Islam through electronic channels.”

Of course, the definition of a ‘crime’ in Saudi Arabia is crazy, as that regime enforces a radical, Wahhabist interpretation of Islam that has much in common with ISIS ideology.

Badawi has been in jail since 2012, and had his sentence increased from the original seven years in jail to 10 years in jail. He was lashed 50 times, causing significant damage to his health. Due to his sentence, he is still subject to almost another 1000 lashes.

Badawi’s wife Ensaf Haidar came to Canada after Saudi Arabia became increasingly dangerous for her. She is an incredibly courageous voice speaking out for her husband’s freedom, and against radical Islam.

Now, Haidar is sharing on Twitter that she received a letter from Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, as she asks for help freeing her husband. Here’s a translation of the letter (written in French), sent by Scheer to Haidar:

“Thank you for your letter about your spouse, Raif Badawi, who is being held in Saudi Arabia.

We took note of your concerns. A copy of your letter was delivered to the Minister of the shadow cabinet responsible for Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Erin O’Toole, for examination and consideration.

Please accept our distinguished greetings.”

Hopefully, Scheer’s letter is just the beginning of his efforts to advocate for Badawi’s release. At least Scheer has responded, as Haidar notes that she “still have not received a response from Mr. @JustinTrudeau!!!

And, as noted by Yasmine Mohammed, Trudeau’s past selfies with Haidar haven’t turned into any action:

Government fails to use leverage

Showing a total lack of negotiating skill, the government has refused to use any leverage to get Badawi released. For example, the government has refused to condemn Saudi Arabia at the UN, they have refused to tie any future weapon sales to human rights concerns, and they have failed to impose sanctions on Saudi Arabia – even though the country is an economic and ideological enemy of Canada.

Using any, or all of those leverage points could go a long way to helping secure Badawi’s freedom. Yet, it would take a level of toughness and strength that has so far been absent from those in power.

Spencer Fernando

Photo – Twitter