This website is an archive of the work of Marietje Schaake in the European Parliament between 2009 and 2019. Marietje can be reached at

MEP: Sakharov prize supports Raif Badawi and his fight for freedom

Dutch MEP Marietje Schaake welcomes the news that this year's Sakharov Prize will be awarded to the liberal blogger Raif Badawi. Schaake nominated Badawi. "With this award, the European Parliament recognises his courage to seek free expression and religious freedom. Badawi is paying an extremely high price for his continuing struggle for freedom and equality. The Sakharov Prize is an important acknowledgement and can help to save his life." Badawi Raif Badawi was prosecuted for allegedly insulting Islam on his website 'Free Saudi Liberals', an online discussion platform. Badawi has been sentenced to 1,000 lashes, 10 years of imprisonment, and a high fine. In January of this year, Badawi received the first 50 lashes, after which his sentence was suspended, as he was deemed too weak to endure a next session. Badawi's wife, Ensaf Haider, announced this week that she has been informed by a source that the punishment is set to be resumed. The same source had warned her in January. Schaake: "It is unacceptable that this unjust sentence is being upheld. Saudi Arabia is showcasing its most barbaric ways." EU Schaake states that applying cruel and inhumane corporal punishments has to be condemned by the European Union at the highest level: "The Sakharov Prize is an important tool for the European Parliament to show its continuing commitment to human rights. By awarding the prize to Badawi, the European Parliament emphasises that the EU must continuously address the systematic human rights violations by Saudi Arabia. The relationship between the EU and Saudi Arabia must not be narrowly focused on interests such as trade, energy and geopolitics." Prize The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought will be awarded to Raif Badawi on 16 December in Strasbourg, as a recognition of his outstanding achievements in upholding human rights and fundamental freedoms. The prize is accompanied by a monetary award of € 50,000.Last year, Congolese doctor Mr Denis Mukwege won the prize. Previous laureates include Nelson Mandela (1988), the activists of the Arab Spring (2011) and the Iranian lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh (2012), who was also nominated by Schaake. See also: 16-10-2015 Special reading of the works of Raif Badawi 16-06-2015 MEP: Saudi Arabia must pardon Raif Badawi 13-02-2015 MEP: Saudi Arabia must release Raif Badawi 12-02-2015 Plenary speech & Resolution on Saudi Arabia and the case of Raif Badawi 29-01-2015 MEPs address King Salman of Saudi Arabia regarding the case of Raif Badawi 21-01-2015 MEPs call for urgent action in the case of Saudi Arabian Writer Raif Badawi 30-09-2014 Written Question to the High Representative on the case of Raif Badawi in Saudi Arabia raif-badawi