The Quebec government has granted imprisoned Saudi blogger Raif Badawi a selection certificate, a first step meant to speed up his immigration process.
Quebec Immigration Minister Kathleen Weil called Badawi's treatment "cruel and unusual" and used her discretionary power to held speed up his immigration to Canada.
"Quebec is behind Raif Badawi," said Immigration Minister Kathleen Weil, who used a special discretionary power to grant the certificate.Like their vote in support of Badawi back in February, today's motion went through with unanimous agreement across all parties. Listen, in highly political Quebec, you never see that sort of agreement between the parties.
While Quebec is most certainly the friend of Badawi and his brave wife and family, it very much seems like Prime Minister Harper would much rather ignore this situation so he can sell over 15 billion dollars worth of militarized vehicles to the Saudis.
Maybe what would explain how getting the Canadian government to say anything even slightly more than downright grovely towards the Saudis concerning human rights has been harder than pulling teeth. They've done nothing more than ask the Saudis for clemency. I guess it's hard to bite the hand that feeds you -- although the Swedish Foreign Minister did just that and feels no remorse.
Meanwhile, in Canada:
Badawi's detention and sentence have stirred up worldwide condemnation. Quebec politicians unanimously adopted a motion in February calling for his immediate release.So why not grant him Canadian citizenship then? What will Harper's excuse be then? Or will his mouth be too stuffed with Saudi riyals to even utter an intelligible word?
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has also spoken out against Badawi's treatment, but has said Ottawa's influence is limited by the fact he is not a Canadian citizen.
The Saudis obviously still feel the heat of international disgust -- Badawi received no lashes today. However, they are likely to resume. Perhaps political expressions like this will eventually influence them. If not, then at least we can say we tried.
via Veronica Abbass
Edit 2015-05-12 5pm EST:
The Saudis are reacting to world government statements about Raif Badawi sort of poorly. Here was the reaction on Thursday to the world's indignation.
An official source at the Foreign Ministry condemned statements by some countries and international organizations regarding the case of Saudi citizen Raef Badawi, although the judiciary or any official body in the Kingdom has not issued any statement on his case.
“The judiciary is independent in the Kingdom,” the source said, adding that Saudi Arabia will not accept any interference in its jurisdiction or internal affairs by any party.