Ensaf Haidar is the wife of liberal Saudi blogger Raif Badawi who was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for setting up an online platform for political and religious debate.
Badawi was arrested in 2012 on the charge of ‘insulting Islam through electronic channels’ and was brought to court on several charges, including apostasy. He was sentenced to seven years in prison and 600 lashes in 2013, then re-sentenced to 1000 lashes and ten years in prison in 2014. Soon after his imprisonment he was declared a prisoner of conscience by international human rights NGOs, and has since become one of the world’s most famous political prisoners. He has received numerous human rights awards, including the EU’s prestigious Sakharov Prize.
Ensaf Haidar, together with her and Badawi’s three children, was forced to seek asylum in Canada after receiving anonymous death threats. She has been a tireless advocate for her husband’s release, not least by expending much time and energy traveling to receive the awards that her husband is unable to.