In support of Raif Badawi - Lawyers Without Borders Canada and Barreau du Québec join forces

MONTRÉAL, March 12, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - Lawyers Without Borders Canada (LWBC) and the Barreau du Québec are joining forces in the Raif Badawi case. "Those near and dear to Mr. Badawi—and in particular his wife, Mrs. Ensaf Haidar, who has settled in Québec with their children—have appealed to LWBC to provide legal support in this case in light of Saudi law and applicable international treaties", explained Mtre Pascal Paradis, Ad. E., LWBC's Executive Director.

Having moved into action a month ago, LWBC has begun establishing legal avenues that may hopefully help bring about Mr. Badawi's release from prison and reunite him with his family. LWBC's commitment hinges on four focal points: to contribute toward the dialogue with Saudi authorities in order to find a solution based on applicable law; to collaborate on developing a useful legal argument in defending Mr. Badawi; to act from Canada, and if necessary, on site in Saudi Arabia at the appropriate time; and to interact with the Canadian government, to ensure—for instance—its support in the administrative procedures aimed at reuniting the Badawi family," pointed out Mtre Paradis.

"The Barreau du Québec considers it important to join forces with LWBC in this effort and to collaborate on this case, through both its legal expertise and its support to LWBC, in terms of human and material resources. For the past few years, the Barreau du Québec has been lending its support to LWBC on a number of major missions," explained Mtre Bernard Synnott, President of the Barreau du Québec.

LWBC is recognized for the actions it has taken based on principles of subsidiarity, complementarity and solidarity. Raif Badawi's case is no exception. LWBC is getting involved following appeals from its members and at the request of Mr. Badawi's family, and will provide support to his legal representative in Saudi Arabia.

As it may be recalled, 31-year-old Raif Badawi, creator of the Liberal Saudi Network Internet site who was honoured with the 2014 Reporters Without Borders (RWB) Award for freedom of the press, has been in prison since 2012. Last November, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes on a charge of insulting religious values and blasphemy. The first 50 were administered earlier this year, on January 9, and the next ones have been postponed, particularly due to health reasons.

"This case affects concerns citizens," pointed out Mtre Paradis," and is giving rise to substantial mobilization on the part of the legal communities in Québec and elsewhere in Canada, with support from such organizations as the Barreau du Québec and volunteers from Lawyers Without Borders Canada."

Lawyers Without Borders Canada (LWBC)
Lawyers Without Borders Canada (LWBC) is a non-governmental international cooperation organization whose mission is to support the defence of the human rights of the most vulnerable groups and individuals, through the reinforcement of access to justice and legal representation. LWBC is or has been active in over 15 countries.

The Barreau du Québec
The Barreau du Québec is the professional corporation of some 25,500 lawyers in the province. The stands that it takes are adopted by its elected bodies, following its advisory committees' analyses and recommendations. In order to protect the public, the Barreau du Québec monitors the legal practice, promotes the rule of law, enhances the status of the profession and supports its members in their practice. Visit

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For further information: Martine Meilleur, Coordinator, Communications Department, Barreau du Québec, 514 954-3489 or


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