Raif Badawi flogging: Coderre says Harper should intervene
Saudi blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail after criticizing Islam on blog
Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre says Prime Minister Stephen Harper should intervene directly in the case of Raif Badawi, the Saudi blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes for criticizing Islam online.
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He called for Badawi to be released and reunited with his wife and three children in Sherbrooke, Que.
"Pressure from Canada and a phone call from the prime minister could make a big difference," said Coderre.
Coderre said the fact that Badawi is not a Canadian citizen doesn't mean Canada can't do something to help him.
"I'm a former immigration minister. I believe in reuniting families," he said.
Badawi is currently in jail in Saudi Arabia, serving a 10-year sentence for crimes related to criticizing Islam on an internet blog.
He was also sentenced to receive 1,000 lashes, to be delivered in weekly batches of 50.
He was flogged for the first time on Jan. 9. However, the next six flogging sessions were postponed.
The motion at Montreal city hall comes after the Feb. 11 motion passed unanimously in Quebec's National Assembly calling on the governments of Quebec and Canada to do everything possible to secure Badawi’s freedom.
Raif Badawi's wife is @ Mtl city hall as all parties stand up & call for Cdn govt to push 4 Badawi's release. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cbcmtl?src=hash">#cbcmtl</a> <a href="http://t.co/pgtxSnCN5Z">pic.twitter.com/pgtxSnCN5Z</a>—@salimah_shivji