Ensaf Haidar at UN to Saudi Arabia: My world was shattered after you arrested my husband

Wife of Raif Badawi Addresses Saudi Rep in U.N. Rights Council

The U.N. elected Saudi Arabia to its Human Rights Council — so yesterday we brought into that very chamber the wife of Saudi Arabia's most famous political prisoner, to finally tell the world the truth about human rights under the Wahhabis' medieval and misogynistic regime.

Posted by UN Watch on Wednesday, September 20, 2017

UN Human Rights Council Testimony of
Ensaf Haidar, on Behalf of UN Watch

19 September 2017
Translated from Arabic original


Thank you. I am honored to speak on behalf of United Nations Watch.

My name is Ensaf Haidar. I am the wife of jailed Saudi blogger Raif Badawi.

I wish to address my words to Saudi Arabia, which is sitting here as a member of this Council.

Mr. Ambassador Abdulaziz Al-Wasil, I am here to speak to you as a wife and a mother fighting for the freedom of her husband.

I did not choose this role. It was imposed on me when my world was shattered in 2012 after you arrested my husband.

My husband did not commit any crime. He simply aspired for a better future for his country.

As you know, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1000 lashes for criticizing the excess of the religious establishment in the Saudi Kingdom. He created a liberal forum, wrote a blog, and for that he was imprisoned.

Mr. Ambassador, Raif was expressing an opinion – exercising a universal human right to freedom of opinion.

Ironically, some of what he was demanding are already being implemented in Saudi Arabia. Indeed, Saudi Arabia spoke of these reforms when it was elected as a member of this Council. And yet Raif is still in prison — five years in prison for an opinion? How just is that?

I respectfully take this opportunity to ask: Will His Majesty King Salman please grant clemency to my husband?

Mr. Ambassador, when will our three little children — 13-year-old Najwa, 12-year-old Terad, and 9-year-old Miriyam— get to see their father again?

Mr. Ambassador, I am asking you as a wife and a mother, who did not choose this role. All I am doing is fighting for the release of my husband. 

Thank you.


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