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Wife of jailed Saudi blogger hails U.S. vice-president's call for husband's release

Ensaf Haidar, wife of blogger Raif Badawi, arrives for a meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Sherbrooke, Que. on Wednesday, January 16, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

MONTREAL — The wife of jailed Saudi dissident Raif Badawi says she is grateful U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence has called on Saudi Arabia to free her husband.

Ensaf Haidar, who lives in Sherbrooke, Que., with her three children, said today she’d like to meet President Donald Trump to talk about ways he can help get her husband released.

Pence told an audience at the State Department today that Saudi Arabia would go a long way towards restoring its international reputation if it released Badawi.

Pence included the jailed blogger on a list of four men detained across the world for exercising their faith in the face of what he called unimaginable pressure.

Badawi, 35, was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics.

Haidar says she believes Trump can do more than Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to help her husband. She says the Canadian leader has not done enough to secure Badawi’s release.

The Canadian Press