Crown Prince Salman has become the new King of Saudi Arabia with a more progressive view of government and his country. With this in mind, the Committee of Concerned Scientists have approached the new King requesting that he review the Badawi case and consider dropping his charges and releasing him from confinement. The King’s views are much more in line with the views that Badawi was espousing. There has been talk that Badawi may be on the list this year for a pardon. Additionally, Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau has contacted the Saudi King advocating for a release for Badawi as well.
Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
Crown Prince, First Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of Defense
Ministry of Defense
Riyadh 11165 Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Fax: 011 966 11 402 6457 (via Ministry of Defense)
Web Site: www.moda.gov.sa
The Committee of Concerned Scientists is an independent organization of scientists, physicians, engineers and scholars devoted to the protection and advancement of human rights and scientific freedom for colleagues all over the world.
We have written your government previously – most recently in November 2017 – and we again appeal to express our ongoing concern at the sentencing of blogger Raif Badawi to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for “insulting Islam through electronic channels.” As you are aware, this sentence was imposed on Mr. Badawi for peacefully exercising his fundamental right to freedom of expression. This right is outlined in the Arab Charter; and freedom of opinion and expression are also guaranteed in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Subjecting Raif Badawi to 50 lashes per week for a period of 20 weeks would be cruel, inhuman, and degrading punishment. As a state party to the Arab Charter on Human Rights and the UN Convention Against Torture, your government is obligated to refrain from physical torture or from “cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment”.
We have been so encouraged by your concerns about Human Rights in Saudi Arabia and your attempts to improve areas that are neither fair nor equitable, making the laws and customs more humane. With this in mind, it would seem that this particular case would be perfect for a change in Raif Badawi’s situation – dismissing the charges and releasing him at this time.
We write to urge you to reverse course in this case, overturn his conviction, and immediately and unconditionally set Raif Badawi free. Thank you for your consideration in this matter and we look forward to a positive response in the very near future.
Joel L. Lebowitz, Paul H. Plotz, Walter Reich, Eugene M. Chudnovsky, Alexander Greer
Co-Chairs, Committee of Concerned Scientists
Minister of Justice
His Excellency Waleed bin Mohammad Al-Samaani
Ministry of Justice
Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Fax: +966 11 4055399 + 966 11 4020311
Ambassador Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz
Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia
601 New Hampshire Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20037
Phone: 1 202 537 3100
Fax: 1 202 295 3625