Vigil for Raif Badawi, Waleed Abulkhair & Ashraf Fayadh

27 October 2017, 9:00 am10:00 am

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Join English PEN and Reporters Without Borders for our monthly vigils in support of Raif Badawi, Waleed Abulkhair and Ashraf Fayadh

English PEN has been holding regular vigils outside the Saudi Embassy in London in support of imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi and his lawyer Waleed Abulkhair since January 2015 when Badawi was first flogged for his peaceful activism.

We will also be continuing to call for the immediate release of Palestinian poet and artist Ashraf Fayadh, currently serving eight years in prison in Saudi Arabia and facing the threat of 800 lashes.

Please join us on Friday 27 October from 9 – 10am for a peaceful vigil at the Saudi Arabian Embassy in London. Activists are asked to meet at the Curzon Street entrance to the Embassy. (note: the postal address of the Embassy is 30-32 Charles Street, Mayfair, London).


Spread the word

Invite your friends and colleagues to join this month’s vigil and share details of their cases on social media. #FreeRaif #FreeWaleed #FreeAshraf

Read Ashraf Fayadh’s Instructions Within

We’re so proud to be publishing the UK edition of Ashraf Fayadh’s poetry collection (tr. Mona Kareem, Jonathan Wright and Mona Zaki). Ten pages of the collection, first published by the Beirut-based Dar al-Farabi in 2008 and later banned from distribution in Saudi Arabia, were among the evidence used to convict him. Proceeds from this edition will go towards English PEN’s ongoing campaigns in support of Fayadh’s release and on behalf of other writers at risk around the world.

Order your copy here and read this piece by fellow poet Andrew McMillan over on the PEN Atlas.

Write to your MP

Ask your MP to support Early Day Motion 37, ‘Ongoing imprisonment of Raif Badawi‘ tabled by Stewart McDonald MP in support of Raif Badawi and his lawyer Waleed Abulkhair. You can write directly to your local MP via the Write To Them website. A sample letter follows but please do write your own if you have time.

Dear …

I’m writing both as one of your constituents and as a supporter of the literary charity English PEN to urge you to add your support to Early Day Motion 37, ‘Ongoing imprisonment of Raif Badawi’.

As you may know, Raif is a blogger and key PEN case, currently serving a 10-year prison sentence in Saudi Arabia. Raif was sentenced to 1000 lashes, 50 of which were administered back in January 2015, leading to a global outcry. He has not been lashed again since but the threat of further punishment continues to loom over him. He also faces a 10-year travel ban following his release, and a large fine. This month marks the fifth anniversary of his arrest.

Please consider adding your signature to EDM 37 in support of Raif Badawi.

Kind regards

Join our photo action for Raif Badawi

English PEN and the Raif Badawi Foundation for Freedom are also inviting individuals and organisations all over the world to mark the fourth anniversary of Raif Badawi’s arrest and to show their ongoing support for him and his family by sharing a photo of themselves holding a poster of Raif or a message of solidarity.

We are aiming to get 1000 images to represent the 1000 lashes to which Raif has been sentenced. As well as helping to raise and maintain awareness of his case, these photos will serve as a powerful visual representation of the widespread support for Raif and his family .

Send us your photos

  • Via Twitter: Please share your photo with the hashtag #FreeRaif and tag @englishpen
  • Via Facebook: Please tag English PEN Writers at Risk in your photos, and use the hashtag #FreeRaif
  • Via Email: Please email your photos, with the subject line ‘Free Raif photo’ and details of where it was taken (eg Saudi Embassy, London, UK) to Please also send copies to the Raif Badawi Foundation for Freedom –

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