Saudi Arabia: Respect Free Speech!

To the government of Saudi Arabia,

I am horrified that Saudi blogger Raif Badawi was publicly flogged and has been sentenced to even more floggings plus 10 years in prison for simply for writing a political blog. I call on you to rescind Raif Badawi’s sentence immediately, as it is an outrageous and defiant violation of the prohibition on torture under international law.

Please drop all charges against Badawi and ensure that he is unconditionally released without further delay. Citizens of Saudi Arabia, also including imprisoned human rights lawyer Waleed Abukhair, should have the right to free speech without fear of retribution.

I am deeply concerned about the number of activists in Saudi Arabia who, like Raif Badawi, are persecuted for openly expressing their views. I call on you to stop arresting, charging, prosecuting and sentencing activists for simply exercising their rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly.


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