Raif Badawi

Lantos Foundation Commends E.U. for Honoring Raif Badawi with Top Human Rights Award

The Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice has been at the forefront with those fighting for the release of Raif Badawi, and would like to commend the European Union for awarding Raif Badawi the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. 

This brave man's only crime has been to advocate for the values of free speech, tolerance, religious reform, and the separation of mosque and state. He has faced brutal punishment and unjust incarceration, and it is time for the government of Saudi Arabia to show justice and mercy by releasing him and allowing him to be reunited with his family in Canada. 

Those of us who live in freedom have a moral duty to stand shoulder to shoulder with brave activists who dare to speak out for the fundamental human rights of all of us. Once again, we commend the European union for honoring Raif and look forward to the day when he can receive his prize in person. 

PRESS RELEASE - Katrina Lantos Swett & Other Prominent Religious Freedom Advocates Offer to take Saudi Lashings in Raif Badawi's Place

Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett, President of the Lantos Foundation, has joined with other prominent religious freedom advocates in calling on Saudi Arabia to cancel the sentence of 1,000 lashes that has been imposed on liberal blogger Raif Badawi. The advocates are offering to each take 100 of the lashes to which Badawi has been sentenced if the Saudi government refuses to cancel his punishment. The signatories of the letter include: Professor Robert George of Princeton University, Mary Ann Glendon, former Ambassador to the Holy See; Professor Daniel Mark of Villanova University; Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy; Eric Schwartz, Dean of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota; and Hannah Rosenthal, CEO of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation.

In a letter sent today to the Saudi embassy they cite the “grave injustice” of his sentence and write, “We would rather share in his victimization than stand by and watch him being cruelly tortured.” 

The Lantos Foundation and these individuals join a powerful chorus of voices including leading US Senators, Amnesty International, the US State Department, and others in condemning Saudi Arabia’s action in this case as barbaric.

Read the Letter Here