Update on #RaifBadawi – please keep up the pressure to #FreeRaif

#FreeRaif
#FreeRaif

An update on ‪#‎RaifBadawi‬ and a request for action NOW:

1) Raif Badawi was not lashed today. His lashing was once again postponed. Reasons have not been fully confirmed but most reports are citing “health reasons.”

2) Reports are coming in that Raif’s friend and associate, liberal Saudi activist Souad al-Shammary, has been released from prison and that all charges against her have been dropped. This is huge.

Time is of the essence. I need you all to get both online and on the phone:

1) Call ‪#‎Saudi‬ consulates, embassies and ministries in your city. (For a listing of Saudi offices in the USA, see this link). People in Europe and elsewhere, please feel free to leave numbers and email addresses in the comments. Ask them to free Raif Badawi, and to drop all charges against him. We want an unconditional release.

DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT make disparaging comments about Saudi Arabia, Saudi policy, Saudi people, the King, or Islam when you call. That will not help Raif – on the contrary. Ask for Raif’s release, keep your words sincere but simple.

2) GET ONLINE. DIGITAL ACTIVISM IS WORKING. Tweet ‪#‎FreeRaif‬ and #RaifBadawi. If you like and have space, also add #IAmRaifBadawi.  Find activists for Raif via these hashtags and connect. I am at @RaquelEvita. Raif’s wife Ensaf Haidar is @Miss9afi. Their family spokesperson, Elham Manea, is at @ElhamManea.

Thank you! Be hopeful, but do not relent.

(P.S.: while I haven’t kept up with this blog, I have been working continuously on this issue for a long time – catch my posts here and here.)

Yaser Said: Abuser, Murderer, Extremist #CatchYaserNow

A photo of Yaser Abdel Said, age-progressed by the FBI in 2014
A photo of Yaser Abdel Said, age-progressed by the FBI in 2014

If you’ve followed me on Twitter, you know that the FBI has added Yaser Said (a.k.a. Yaser Abdel Said and Yaser Abdel Fattah Mohammad Said) to its list of the top ten most wanted fugitives, increasing the award for information leading to his capture from $20,000 to $100,000. Oak Farms Dairy has added another $10,000 to this reward through the Irving, Texas police department, making the total reward to date $110,000.

Background: Yaser Said murdered his daughters, Sarah and Amina, on January 1, 2008, in Texas. He has been at large since, and it is not unlikely that he remains in the United States. The murders are the subject of a new documentary, The Price of Honor, which I wrote about here.

Yesterday, I heard from one of the filmmakers behind The Price of Honor, who has uncovered photos of Yaser’s son (and brother of Sarah and Amina), Islam Said, as well as photos of at least some of Yaser Said’s weapons.

After his two sisters were murdered for being “too Westernized” and for having male friends, Islam Said said that they “got what they deserved,” because “they knew the rules.” Those of us familiar with the case continue to call for the indictment of Sarah and Amina’s mother, Patricia “Tissie” Said, and their brother Islam.

How does a brother support the brutal murder of his own sisters?

We have repeatedly been told that the Said family was and is not “extremist,” but all signs point to the contrary. Yaser and Patricia Said raised their children in a culture of abuse, violence, and disregard for human life and dignity. Yaser Said sexually, emotionally and physically abused his daughters with the full knowledge of their mother. Islam Said was taught that this was within Yaser’s rights as a man. This image of Islam Said will be released to the media soon, but is appearing here first courtesy of The Price of Honor:

Islam Said - Raquel Evita Saraswati
Islam Said

 

The above goes well beyond the bounds of good and innocent fun. Who poses their child like this, with a weapon?

This image shows Yaser Said’s early gun collection. He shot his daughters in the back of his taxi cab 7 years ago:

Yaser Said Weapons - Raquel Evita Saraswati
Yaser Said owns at least 4 guns

 

Yaser Said remains at large only because he has had help in hiding – and because of community ambivalence.

Please see Yaser Said’s listing on the FBI’s Top Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list here ( and the poster here).

Yaser Said should be considered armed and extremely dangerous. He is said to carry a weapon with him at all times. Do not approach him.

If you believe you have seen Yaser Said, or if you have any information that might lead to his arrest, submit a tip online here, or call 1-800-CALLFBI (225-5324).

Raquel Evita Saraswati Yaser Abdel Said Arabic