Tuesday, November 11, 2014

His Majesty
King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques,
Office of His Majesty the King,
Royal Court, Riyadh,
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Your Excellency,

I am writing to urge you to immediately release Raif Badawi, as he is being held solely for exercising his right to freedom of expression.

Raif Badawi was jailed for 10 years in May 2014 after starting a website for social and political debate in Saudi Arabia. He was charged with creating the ‘Saudi Arabian Liberals’ website and insulting Islam. His sentence also included 1,000 lashes, a 10-year travel ban, and a ban on appearing on media outlets. Corporal punishment, such as flogging, violates international law, which prohibits torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The prosecution had called for him to be tried for ‘apostasy’ (when a person abandons their religion), which carries the death sentence.

Raif is one of many activists in Saudi Arabia persecuted for expressing their views online.  He is a prisoner of conscience who is guilty of nothing more than daring to create a public forum for discussion and peacefully exercising the right to freedom of expression. I thus ask you to release Raif Badawi immediately. All charges against him should be dropped and his sentence quashed, and the authorities should refrain from carrying out the flogging punishment.

Yours sincerely,

Md. Hasanuzzaman Talukdar




International Member and Volunteer Facilitator

International Secretariat of Amnesty International

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