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: Saudi Arabia must release Raif Badawi

Dutch Member of the European Parliament, Marietje Schaake (D66/ALDE), wants the authorities in Saudi Arabia to release Raif Badawi immediately and unconditionally. Yesterday the European Parliament adopted a resolution which made this appeal. Schaake: "The relationship between the EU and Saudi Arabia is too unilaterally focused on interests such as energy. As a result of this, the deplorable human rights situation in the country is not raised in political discussions. In the meantime, the role that Saudi Arabia is playing with regards to terrorist organisation Islamic State (IS) is questioned. Similarly barbaric punishments such as beheadings and floggings are unacceptable and must be condemned by the EU at the highest political level." Raif Badawi Badawi was arrested in 2012 for creating the website 'Free Saudi Liberals Network,' which according to the indictment threatened national security and insulted Islam. After his appeal was rejected in September 2014, he was sentenced to ten years in prison and a 1000 lashes. Schaake: "After the first infliction of 50 lashes, a medical examination determined that Badawi was not fit to endure any more. This underlines the inherent cruelty of these corporal punishments. The EU must systematically raise the issue of human rights violations in Saudi Arabia." Selective The European People's Party (EPP), refused to collaborate on the resolution. Schaake: "I find it incomprehensible that the EPP is so selective on this issue. Badawi is in a horrific situation. A sharp condemnation, supported by the whole of the Parliament, would have helped his case. But unfortunately the EPP prioritizes official relations with Saudi Arabia over his wellbeing." In January of this year, Schaake wrote a letter to King Salman, and to EU High Representative Mogherini. In September 2014, Schaake submitted parliamentary questions to then High Representative Ashton on this case.