Wife of Jailed Saudi Blogger to Address U.N. Rights Council With Saudi Ambassador Present


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Ensaf Haidar, the wife of jailed Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi, poses with a portrait of her husband as she receives the 2015 Sakharov Prize on his behalf during a ceremony at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, December 16, 2015. Badawi was sentenced in 2014 to 10 years in jail, a fine and 1,000 lashes for insulting Islam, cyber crime and disobeying his father, which is a crime in Saudi Arabia. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler.

GENEVA, Sept. 19, 2017 — The wife of jailed Saudi blogger Raif Badawi—the world’s most famous political prisoner—will address the United Nations for the first time in a Human Rights Council speech on Tuesday that will take place in the presence of Ambassador Abdulaziz Al-Wasil, the representative of Saudi Arabia, whose government controversially sits on the 47-nation body.
Ensaf Haidar will speak at the invitation of the Geneva-based non-governmental human rights group UN Watch, which holds consultative status at the United Nations.
Raif Badawi is currently four years into a 10-year prison sentence, convicted for “insulting Islam” after he published a blog calling for a free society in Saudi Arabia.
Badawi was also sentenced to 1,000 lashes, 50 of which were administered in a 2015 public flogging. In wake of a global outcry, Saudi authorities have for now paused the lashes.
Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar, and their three young children, received asylum in Canada, and live in Sherbrooke, Quebec.
Haidar recently published “Raif Badawi, The Voice of Freedom: My Husband, Our Story,” a powerful first-person account of her life with her husband, and her worldwide campaign to free him.
The book tells the story of the survival of their love against all odds, and of her courageous fight for her husband’s freedom.