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Parliamentary questions
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30 September 2014
Question for written answer E-007343-14
to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)
Rule 130
Marietje Schaake (ALDE) , Ana Gomes (S&D) , Tunne Kelam (PPE) , Petras Auštrevičius (ALDE) , Hans-Olaf Henkel (ECR) , Alexander Graf Lambsdorff (ALDE) , Javier Nart (ALDE) , Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz (ALDE) , Jozo Radoš (ALDE) , Judith Sargentini (Verts/ALE) , Helmut Scholz (GUE/NGL) , Alyn Smith (Verts/ALE) , Harald Vilimsky (NI) , Tanja Fajon (S&D) , Mark Demesmaeker (ECR) , Ignazio Corrao (EFDD) , Juan Carlos Girauta Vidal (ALDE)

 Subject:  VP/HR — Case of Raif Badawi in Saudi Arabia
 Answer in writing 

On 1 September 2014, the Court of Appeal in Saudi Arabia upheld the sentence imposed on Raif Badawi on 7 May. Badawi was sentenced to serve 10 years in prison and to 1 000 lashes, a 10‐year travel ban, a ban on using media outlets and a fine of SAR 1 million (about EUR 200 000). The conviction and sentence stemmed from Badawi’s co-founding of an online forum aimed at encouraging political and social debate, and from the accusation that he had ‘insulted Islam’. Now that Badawi’s sentence is final, the first set of lashes may be imposed within weeks.

1. Is the VP/HR aware of this case? If so, what is her assessment of it, bearing in mind that Saudi Arabia acceded to the Convention against Torture in 1997 which prohibits torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment?

2. What have the VP/HR and/or the EEAS done to address this case, and how do they intend to move forward in the future with a view to pushing for the immediate and unconditional release of Raif Badawi?

3. What action has been taken by the VP/HR and/or the EEAS to address the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia, as recommended in Parliament’s resolution of 11 March 2014(1)?


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