Free Speech met with a 100 lashes in Saudi Arabia

OPSEU Local 415

OPSEU Local 415 is the democratically-run body that represents Algonquin College full-time and partial-load faculty (professors and instructors), cousellors, and librarians.

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Our college is doing business in Saudi Arabia. The college claims it can be a force for change. Meanwhile, here is the reality.

Raif Badawi, an independent blogger who should be in Canada today with his wife and their three children, is spending time in Briman prison, Jeddah city, Saudi Arabia. Worse,for his crime of being an independent blogger critical of the regime, he has been sentenced to 1000 lashes to be administered at the rate of 50 per week. The public lashes began last Friday. See the BBC report at .

Furthermore, he has been sentenced to ten years imprisonment and a fine of 1 million riyals (about $299,000. CDN). After he serves a decade in jail, he is also forbidden to travel for the following decade and from participating in the media.

Since March 2011, according to Amnesty International the authorities have continued a relentless campaign of repression in the name of security. The authorities have cracked down on peaceful activists calling for reform and on demonstrators protesting against human right violations. Those who express dissent face arrest and imprisonment whether they are critics, bloggers,activists or academics. Raif Badawi is just one of many.

Please consider giving your voice in protesting this inhumane treatment through the campaign launched by Amnesty International at

Please consider forwarding this to your friends and other contacts interested in human rights.

Jack Wilson, 1st VP, OPSEU 415

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