Saudi Arabia arrests sister of jailed blogger Raif Badawi

 Political activist Samar Badawi is presented with an International Women of Courage Award by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and first lady Michelle Obama in Washington on March 8, 2012. Alex Wong, Getty images, AFP |
Political activist Samar Badawi is presented with an International Women of Courage Award by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and first lady Michelle Obama in Washington on March 8, 2012. Alex Wong, Getty images, AFP |

The sister of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, who was recently sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes, was arrested on Tuesday and briefly jailed, Amnesty International said, calling it “damning proof” of the kingdom’s human rights abuses.

Samar Badawi was detained in the morning in Jeddah with her two-year-old daughter and interrogated by police for four hours before being transferred to Dhaban prison, the NGO said in a statement.

Raif Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar, posted on Twitter that her sister-in-law was arrested on charges that she was managing a prominent human-rights activist’s account.

The activist, Waleed Abulkhair, who is also Samar Badawi’s ex-husband, is serving out a 15-year jail sentence.

Samar Badawi was “arrested on the charge of directing @WaleedAbulkhair”, Haidar, who is a refugee in Quebec, Canada, said on Twitter.

She was released on bail on Wednesday, wccording to Geneva-based NGO Dewany, pending her appearance before a judge.

Harassment and intimidation

Badawi has been under a travel ban by the country’s Ministry of the Interior since December 2014.

Philip Luther, director of Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa programme, said her arrest “demonstrates the extreme lengths to which the authorities are prepared to go in their relentless campaign to harass and intimidate human rights defenders into silent submission”.

Badawi is the 2012 recipient of the International Women of Courage Award, which was given to her by US First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Raif BadawiHer brother Raif, 31, was arrested that same year and convicted of “insulting Islam”.

His initial public flogging of 50 lashes in January sparked an international outcry against Saudi Arabia and its human rights record.

He co-founded the Saudi Liberal Network Internet discussion group, which promoted free speech and sought an end to the influence of religious leaders on public life in one of the world’s most conservative countries.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

  • Rascal

    Saudis are no better than Iran when it comes to basic freedoms. Just having an opinion can get you jail or dead. Pretty sad in this day and age. Remind me again what year this is.
    The US should send tons of duct tape to these countries to save people, just apply duct tape over all the peoples mouths, that have a mind of their own, and it might save their life.

    • Y K

      The Saudis are better in one respect only: they execute fewer people. And they do it by beheading, which is fairly painless, as opposed to the Iranians who prefer slow strangulation (although you must admit that those cranes are a nice touch).

      • Hannibal

        Are you defending your allies Y K? The Saudis follow a strict rule of Islam and lie about it to appease the US administration while they are harboring the “heart and mind” of terror. Wahabi Islam is a terrorist organization.

        • Y K

          Not “allies”. Paymasters. Every upstanding “Resistant” should know that. Have you been neglecting your Al Akhbar editorials lately?

          “Wahabi Islam is a terrorist organization”. Just Wahhabi islam? You are quite a stickler, you know. What about the Muslim Brotherhood? What about the Wilayat al Faqih freaks? I, on the other hand, do not discriminate :-).

          • Hannibal

            By not mentioning the others it does not mean they are not. The topic was SA treating their own people wasn’t it?

          • Y K

            Rest assured, I find the Saudi regime’s treatment of its people (and its foreign visitors) abhorrent. And my topic was Rascal’s comment, so I keep strictly focused.

          • Scradje

            Off topic: my KP post to you was zapped. I think the mods have been infiltrated by Kremtrolls.

          • Hind Abyad

            Kremlin trolls…
            Busy trolls everywhere huh?

          • Y K

            Or maybe they are just averse to any kind of direct criticism.

          • Hind Abyad

            “beheading is fairly painless”… “Why just Wahhabi Islam?”
            The roots of Ikhwan, Al Qaeda, ISIS.. keyboard warrior ignorance or Focussed?.
            http://www.newstatesman.com/world-affairs/2014/11/wahhabism-isis-how-saudi-arabia-exported-main-source-global-terrorism

          • 5thDrawer

            Good links.
            And not only this one ‘religion’, but I would say ‘all’, as lines of thought requiring ‘simple belief’ in the improbable and never-proven theories that branch out of them, have been corrupted in similar manner. Some human in the distant past came up with some good thoughts. Some agreed with them, and accepted. Others worked them around, as general knowledge increased, to suit their own particular views … or their own desires.
            There was a need in ‘us’, as the weakest of all animals, to find a confidence to survive in the cold dark night. The feeling that something watched over us as individuals became stronger in those who saw more morning lights than others; and who also saw what the night had wrought. Praying can help the soul through the dark. But it doesn’t change the FACT that the sun ‘goes down’ and a night is cold.
            There is still enough unknown of a universe, or indeed of human nature, to hope someone listens to a prayer for something ‘good’ when the dark comes. But forcing the lack of access to accumulated knowledge from the earliest experiences of a species, is only a vain attempt to control and maintain the dark … to make the fear of that continue into the day.
            Amazingly, for a ‘belief’, some will now ignore the FACT that the sun ‘rises’ again.
            Pray for the species. It loses all it’s self-confidence this way.

          • Hind Abyad

            Medieval Wahhabi are free to do anything they want with their oil power in the doomed ME since their creation in 1920.
            ‘Palestinian poet and artist Ashraf Fayadh sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia’
            http://mondoweiss.net/2016/01/palestinian-scheduled-execution?utm_source=Mondoweiss+List&utm

  • 5thDrawer

    One promotes free speech, and is jailed … another nods a head in agreement, and is in trouble for thinking.
    And a female backing up someone simply is out of the question.
    I suppose the Mufti-Heads have apoplexy when they see Michell Obama’s bare arms.

  • Sheikh Ali

    Adapting the Sanatana way of life will humanize the followers of Islam and make them shun violence. http://sanatanaparishad.blogspot.in/

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