THE GLOBE AND MAIL – STEVEN CHASE – Former Liberal justice minister Irwin Cotler says there are growing fears that Saudi Arabia will resume flogging Raif Badawi, jailed for “insulting Islam,” now that the kingdom has again secured a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Mr. Cotler, who serves as international counsel to Mr. Badawi, is calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to use Canada’s $15-billion armoured-vehicle sale to Riyadh to help win the writer’s release. It was only two months ago that the Saudi government’s chief envoy said that awarding the deal to Canada was intended to cement its friendship with the Canadian government.

The Saudi government needs to keep international allies onside as it struggles with a reputation as an abysmal human-rights offender for a bombing campaign in Yemen that has been accused of killing thousands of civilians and an alleged role in funding extremists and terrorist groups.