It is with great emotion that I learned the news: the 2015 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought was awarded to my husband as a result of the decision of the European Parliament President, Martin Schulz, as well as the leaders of different political groups.
It is an honor for us and especially for Raif to receive this prestigious recognition alongside previous honoured recipients. We thank friends, supporters and the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, and all the parliamentarians who supported this decision.
Raif would be very happy to see how his fight is shared by so many people in the world, and this award is further proof.
The Sakharov Prize 2015 has put a balm on the news we heard this week, to the effect that the lashes would resume despite the fact that Raif’s case is still under review by the Supreme Court in Saudi Arabia.
I ask the new Prime Minister of Canada, Mr. Justin Trudeau, to act quickly to support Raif and ensure his release. We ask him to issue a safe passage for Raif, and to grant refugee status to enable him to find his family in Canada.
Ensaf Haidar, 29 October 2015