Protest for Jailed Saudi Writer’s Freedom: May 3 in Washington, D.C.

April 28, 2014

30-year-old Raif Badawi, a Saudi Arabian writer and activist, was sentenced last year to seven years in prison and 600 lashes. Badawi’s crimes? Founding a website, Liberal Saudi Network, dedicated to fostering open discussion of religion and politics; and calling on his country to respect freedom of religion, belief, and expression, and women’s rights.

According to the Saudi court, Badawi was guilty of ridiculing Islam. In the midst of his appeals process, Badawi could soon be charged with apostasy. The penalty for apostasy in Saudi Arabia is death.

To make matters worse, a Saudi court recently jailed Badawi’s lawyer, Waleed Sami Abu Al-Khair, for his human rights activism.

Badawi did nothing more than peacefully exercise his basic human rights, and seek to help others secure the liberty to do the same, yet he is now in very real danger. Having lost his freedom, many in Saudi Arabia now call for his death.

In support of Badawi, the Center for Inquiry joins Muslims for Progressive Values in organizing a protest at the Saudi Arabian Embassy on Saturday, May 3, at 3:00 p.m. The embassy is located at 601 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20037, near the Foggy Bottom stop on the Metro.

The D.C. protest is part of several demonstrations set to take place May 3, organized under the banner of “Stand for Raif Badawi on World Press Freedom Day.” Other locations include Ottawa, Canada; Madrid, Spain; Bern, Switzerland; Paris, France; and Tunis, Tunisia.  

If you can attend, please join our Facebook event or email Michael De Dora at mdedora@centerforinquiry.net. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own signs, though some signs will be provided.

Please come out on Saturday, May 3 to demand the release of Raif Badawi and be part of a global movement standing up for fundamental human rights! 

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The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is an educational and advocacy organization that advances reason, science, and secular values in public affairs and at the grassroots. Learn more at www.centerforinquiry.net

Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV) is a nonprofit organization that seeks to embody and be an effective voice of the traditional Quranic ideals of human dignity, egalitarianism, compassion and social justice. Learn more at www.mpvusa.org