Wednesday 16 March 2016

Spotlight: Raif Badawi: The Voice of Freedom by Ensaf Haidar



& Andrea C. Hoffmann

Published by Little, Brown 16th March 2016, Trade Paperback, £14.99

A powerful and moving account of the treatment of Raif Badawi, the Saudi blogger sentenced to 1000 lashes, as well as the story of his wife and their family struggle.

When Raif Badawi and Ensaf Haidar fell in love with each other as adolescents, they did so in violation of every moral precept in the strictly Islamic Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. During their clandestine love affair, the young couple had no idea that, more than a decade later, Ensaf’s love for Raif would attract the attention of politicians from around the world as the blogger’s wife now mobilises global opinion in an effort to save her husband from murder at the hands of the Saudi judiciary. With courage born of desperation, she is fighting from exile in Canada to secure the release of the father of her three children, and is bringing great pressure to bear on the murderous regime in her native country.

Ensaf Haidar tells Raif’s and her own story: the story of their shared liberal ideas and her fight for her husband’s release.

Ensaf Haidar is married to Raif Badawi and is president of the Raif Badawi Foundation. She lives in Quebec, Canada with her children.

About Raif Badawi
·         Raif Badawi, born 13th January 1984, is a Saudi Arabian writer and activist and the creator of the website Free Saudi Liberals
·         He was arrested on 2012 on a charge of insulting Islam and several other charges including apostasy
·         He was sentenced to seven years in prison and 600 lashes in 2013, and then resentenced to 1000 lashes and ten years in prison plus a fine in 2014. The lashes were to be carried out over 20 weeks
·         The first 50 lashes were administered on 9th January 2015. The second set has been postponed eight times. The recent for the most recent postponement is unknown, but in previous weeks the lashes have been delayed due to Badawi’s poor health
·         Father of three children (Terad, Najwa and Miriam), he married Ensaf Haidar in 2002 in Saudi Arabia. His wife and children obtained political asylum in Canada in 2013

HONOURS AND AWARDS (for Raif Badawi)
·         Awarded the Freedom of Speech Award 2015 from Deutsche Welle
·         Awarded the Courage Award 2015 from the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy
·         Awarded the Aikenhead Award 2015 of Scottish Secular Society
·         Awarded the One Humanity Award 2014 from PEN Canada
·         Awarded the Netizen Prize of Reporter without Borders 2014
·         Honorary member of PEN Canada
·         Honorary member of PEN Denmark
·         Honorary member of PEN Germany
·         Nominated by Spain’s Individual Freedom Party (P-LIB) for the 2014 Freedom Award
·         Nominated for the 2014 International Publishers Association’s Freedom to Publish Prize
·         Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize 

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