CFI's Michael De Dora delivering statement calling on Saudi Arabia to release prisoners of conscience. (source)
Unsurprisingly, the Office for Religious Freedom here in Canada said sweet nothing back then.
Well, the ORF is not breaking with tradition now that we know that Raif Badawi is going to start enduring the torture of 1,000 public lashings -- 50 each week -- right in front of a mosque, after evening prayers for all to see. They're keeping mum and so is the government that appears to control them. Shhhhhh... we just sold the biggest contract of armoured vehicles to Saudi ever -- and they're just great for suppressing protesting Saudi citizens as well. Don't want to blow that contract over human rights, now do we?
Well, the CFI has done good again! They are once again calling for the unconditional release of Raif Badawi and also Waleed Abulkhair. They are once again questioning just why Saudi Arabia is a member of this Council -- given their abysmal record. Great job reading by Michael De Dora!
The meat of the statement. You can read the full text at the CFI website.
This is unconscionable. Every modern human rights accord recognizes the central importance of the individual right to freedom of thought. It is unfortunately true that Saudi Arabia is not a signatory to many of these accords. However, as an elected member of this Council, Saudi Arabia is obliged to “uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights.”Bravo to the CFI on getting the word out.
Accordingly, we once again call on Saudi Arabia to release Badawi and Al-Khair immediately and unconditionally, and drop any pending charges against them.
We also urge the country to reform its laws to protect the rights to freedom of religion, belief, and expression, and cease the brutal use of lashing, which violates the Convention on Torture. No human being should be imprisoned, let alone physically beaten, for their beliefs, or for their criticisms of religious or political ideas.