Raif Badawi vigils

Raif Badawi is an activist and blogger who was convicted in May 2014 for insulting Islam and founding a liberal website. He received a fine of 1 million riyals (£175,000) and a ten-year prison sentence. In addition, the court in Jeddah sentenced Badawi to 1,000 lashes.

On 9 January 2015, after morning prayers, Badawi was flogged 50 times. This punishment was due to continue every Friday until he has received a total of 1,000 lashes. However, subsequent floggings have not gone ahead, initially because Badawi was deemed not to have recovered sufficiently from the previous punishment. No explanation has been given for the postponement of further floggings.

English PEN staff are in regular contact with Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar, who remains gravely concerned for his well-being. She is extremely grateful for PEN’s ongoing support and has urged us to keep fighting.

View photos from our vigils here.

Please join us this Friday 25 September, from 9am. Activists are asked to meet at the Curzon Street entrance to the Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mayfair, London (note: the postal address of the Embassy is 30-32 Charles Street). Let us know if you plan to attend and please invite your friends and colleagues.

#FreeRaif 23.01.15 (via Melody Patry) Raif Badawi protest (6 Feb.)#freeraif


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In the meantime, please continue to show your support for Raif and his family.


  • Write to the Saudi authorities (a sample letter is available below) – please cc: cat@englishpen.org
  • Watch and share the video from our ninth protest at the Saudi Embassy
  • Sign Amnesty’s petition for his release
  • Call on the new British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia to take urgent action
  • Send a message to his family – via email to cat@englishpen.org

Letter to the authorities

Send to: ukemb@mofa.gov.sa

Your Excellency

I am writing to you as a supporter of English PEN, the founding centre of the international association of writers, to express serious concern for Raif Badawi.

According to PEN’s information, on 9 January 2015 imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi received the first round of 50 lashes in a public flogging after Friday prayers. Badawi is now due to receive 50 lashes each Friday until he has received 1,000 lashes, although subsequent floggings have not gone ahead.

I join PEN in calling for his sentence of flogging to be overturned immediately, as well as for Badawi’s conviction to be quashed and for him to be released unconditionally.

I would welcome your comments on my appeal.

Yours sincerely

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