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Burnside Highschool students to protest for Badawi

Burnside Highschool students to take public action on behalf of imprisoned Saudi blogger, Raif Badawi

The Burnside Highschool Amnesty International group will be holding a silent protest in Cashel Street Mall at 1130 on Saturday May 1st on behalf of Raif Badawi, sentenced to 1000 lashes and 10 years in prison for starting up a website encouraging peaceful sociopolitical debate in Saudi Arabia.

Accused of "insulting Islam" through his online writing, Raif was arrested in June 2012, and received the first 50 lashes of his sentence in January in a brutal public flogging. Raif is at risk of repeat lashings at any time, despite medical experts advising that he will not be able to tolerate it.

“The students of Amnesty at Burnside are extremely concerned about the fate of Raif” says Michele Craw, a Burnside High teacher who helps coordinate the student group. “We take our liberties such as online speech for granted. Our group wants to let Raif know that he is not forgotten, and to put pressure on the Saudi King to release him.”

Students will be standing in silence with gags over their mouths from 1130 to 1200 this Saturday on Cashel Street Mall in protest at Raif’s imprisonment and flogging. Members of the public are invited to come by and show their support by signing petitions which will be sent to the Saudi King calling for Raif’s release.

Amnesty International, a human rights action group, campaigns for an end to grave human rights abuses around the world. For more information on this event or how to support Amnesty’s work, please visit the website http://www.amnesty.org.nz or email CHCHRT@amnesty.org.nz.

ENDS

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