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Montrealers celebrate Raif Badawi's birthday

A celebration was held Friday evening in Montreal to mark the birthday of jailed Saudi blogger Raif Badawi.

Family and friends gather to celebrate imprisoned Saudi blogger, who turned 32 this week

Proceeds from the birthday celebration went to the Raif Badawi Foundation. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

A celebration was held Friday evening in Montreal to mark the birthday of jailed Saudi blogger Raif Badawi.

Badawi turned 32.

Several Quebec actors, including Guylaine Tremblay, read Badawi's writings.

Ensaf Haidar, Badawi's wife who lives in Quebec with their children, was also at the event, which helped raise money for the Raif Badawi Foundation.

Badawi was arrested in 2012 for his criticism of Saudi Arabian clerics. He was convicted in 2014 and sentenced to 10 years in jail and 1,000 lashes.

The punishment was suspended last January after Badawi received the first 50 lashes, but he remains behind bars.

His imprisonment has drawn widespread condemnation both internationally and in Canada.

Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion conveyed Canada's desire to see clemency granted to Badawi when he met with his Saudi Arabian counterpart in Ottawa in December.

Translated from la Presse Canadienne

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