John Baird Speaks Out: Finally

Yesterday, CTV News announced,

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has publicly denounced the flogging of a Saudi blogger, calling for clemency in the case.

In his statement Baird says

“Canada is deeply concerned by the public flogging of Raif Badawi. This punishment is a violation of human dignity and freedom of expression, and we call for clemency in this case.”

We call for clemency? No, we want the flogging to stop; we want Raif Badawi released and allowed to come to Canada to join his wife and children:

Raif Badawi’s wife and children live in Quebec.

Marc Garneau (Liberal foreign affairs critic) and Paul Dewar (NDP foreign affairs critic) urged Baird to make a statement, and International Development Minister Christian Paradis said,

the case is complicated because he is not a Canadian citizen.

Complicated? It’s not complicated! Raif Bawadi is a citizen of the world: a thousand tongue lashings for anyone or any country that punishes bloggers for speaking their mind.

We can all help Raif Bawad:  Amnesty’s global human rights blog suggests “Five ways you can help Raif Badawi.”

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