Receiving International Hrant Dink Award last year, Saudi human rights defender Samar Badawi was arrested yesterday. Today, she released on bail.
According to Amnesty International's report, Samar Badawi was arrested in the morning on 12 January in Jeddah and transferred along with her two-year-old daughter Joud to a police station.
Amnesty International released a statement on Badawi's arrestment:
"After four hours of questioning, she was transferred to Dhabhan prison and is due to appear before a prosecutor tomorrow. She is believed to have been arrested at least partly in connection with her alleged role in managing a Twitter account campaigning for the release of her former husband, the imprisoned human rights lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair.
“Just weeks after Saudi Arabia shocked the world by executing 47 people in a single day, including the Shi’a Muslim cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, it has once again demonstrated its utter disregard for human rights. Samar Badawi has been arrested purely for peacefully exercising her right to freedom of expression, she must be immediately and unconditionally released.
"In December 2014 the Ministry of Interior issued a travel ban on Samar Badawito prevent her from travelling to Brussels for a human rights event.
"Samar Badawi’s former husband, Waleed Abu al-Khair, is serving a 15-year prison sentence also in connection with his work protecting and defending human rights in Saudi Arabia. Hundreds of thousands of Amnesty International’s supporters campaigned for his release during its December 2015 Write for Rights Campaign.
"She is also the sister of the imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for setting up a website for public debate. He received the first 50 lashes just over a year ago. They are both prisoners of conscience who must be immediately and unconditionally released."
Philip Luther, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme, also spoke about this issue: “Samar Badawi’s arrest today is yet another alarming setback for human rights in Saudi Arabia and demonstrates the extreme lengths to which the authorities are prepared to go in their relentless campaign to harass and intimidate human rights defenders into silent submission."
Badawi received Hrant Dink Award in 2015 due to her reactions against the human rights violations in Saudi Arabia.