Imprisoned Saudi blogger Raif Badawi (official website)—a recent recipient of the prestigious European human rights award, the Sakharov Prize—has suffered fainting spells and deteriorating health owing to the lengthy hunger strike he initiated more than 20 days ago. According to Ensaf Haidar, Badawi's wife who was recently granted asylum in Canada, the strike was initiated primarily to protest Badawi's transfer to a different prison in Saudi Arabia. However, neither the government of Canada nor Amnesty International in Canada has been able to confirm the hunger strike. Regardless, Canada has expressed its commitment to continue its calls for clemency on Badawi’s behalf. Haidar stated that she last spoke with Badawi two weeks ago, and had been kept informed of Badawi's condition by a contact in Saudi Arabia whom she declined to identify. Haidar had been separated from Badawi for the past four years and was hoping to be reunited with him by the end of 2015.
From Jurist, Jan. 1. Used with permission.