POLITICS

Raif Badawi Case: Trudeau Won't Personally Intervene To Help Blogger

12/17/2015 02:24 EST | Updated 12/17/2016 05:12 EST
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has no immediate plans to call Saudi Arabian authorities to ask for the liberation of jailed blogger Raif Badawi.

Trudeau tells The Canadian Press he won't pick up the phone right now on behalf of Badawi, who was sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his criticism of Saudi clerics.

He says Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion is working on the file and will push authorities to respect international laws.

raif badawi

Ensaf Haidar, wife of the jailed Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi, shows a portrait of her husband as he is awarded a human rights prize. (Photo: Christian Lutz/AP)

Trudeau's remarks come despite the fact that when he was opposition leader some of his MPs, including Dion, called on then-prime minister Stephen Harper to personally call the Saudi king.

Badawi is not a Canadian citizen but his wife and three children live in Quebec.

His spouse, Ensaf Haidar, has asked Trudeau to take up her husband's case so he can join his family in Canada.

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