After 10 years in prison in charges of “insulting Islam”, Saudi blogger and human rights activist Raif Badawi, who has become a symbol of freedom of expression around the world, was released on Friday.
“Raif called me. He is free,” said his wife Ensaf Haidar, who lives in Canada with their three children and had been fiercely advocating for his release.
A Saudi security official confirmed Badawi’s release, without giving further details.
The winner of the Reporters Without Borders prize for press freedom was arrested and detained in Saudi Arabia in 2012 on charges of “insulting Islam.”
After being arrested in 2012, Badawi, now 38, was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 50 lashes a week for a period of twenty weeks.