NDP attending vigils for Raïf Badawi
NDP MPs to attend today’s ceremonies in Montreal and tomorrow’s events in Sherbrooke
January 23rd, 2015 - 3:45pm
Several New Democrat MPs, including International Development critic and deputy Foreign Affairs critic, Hélène Laverdière (Laurier-Sainte-Marie) are set to take part in a vigil in Montreal today calling for Raif Badawi’s release. An NDP MP will also be present at Friday’s event in Sherbrooke.
“Mr. Badawi should be here in Canada with his family, not waiting with fear to receive 50 more lashes of the whip and remaining behind bars,” said Laverdière. “Canada should be condemning this punishment and pushing for Mr. Badawi’s immediate release.”
Laverdière will be joined at the Montreal vigil by MPs Alexandre Boulerice (Rosemont-La-Petite-Patrie) and Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet (Hochelaga). Pierre-Luc Dusseault (Sherbrooke) will represent the Party at the vigil in Sherbrooke on Friday.
Meanwhile, the Badawi family remains in New Democrats thoughts and prayers. Last May, the NDP wrote a first letter to Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird regarding the issue. A second letter was sent at the beginning of January. After receiving no response, NDP leader Tom Mulcair wrote Stephen Harper personally on January 15, 2015.
“As you know, the public punishment that Badawi faces constitutes a blatant violation of human rights and freedom of expression,” wrote Mulcair. “[It] is the Canadian government’s duty to step forward and condemn these human rights’ infringements,” he continued. “We need to make absolutely every effort to guarantee his release, allow him to return home to his family, and to prevent him from being subjected to this horrible punishment simply for having expressed his opinion.”
The NDP will continue to call for Raïf Badawi’s release and we expect the Prime Minister of Canada to follow suit.