Sister of jailed blogger Raif Badawi also detained in Saudi Arabia
Ensaf Haidar, wife of blogger Raif Badawi, takes part in a rally in Montreal, on Jan. 13, 2015. (The Canadian Press / Ryan Remiorz)
The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, January 12, 2016 3:46PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, January 12, 2016 5:36PM EST
MONTREAL -- A group that is supporting jailed blogger Raif Badawi says his eldest sister has also been arrested in Saudi Arabia.
The Raif Badawi Foundation says Samar Badawi was detained on Tuesday for allegedly posting on the Twitter account of her brother's lawyer, Waleed Abulkhair.
News of the arrest was also announced on Twitter by Badawi's wife, Ensaf Haidar, who lives in Quebec with their three children.
Foundation spokeswoman Evelyne Abitbol says Samar Badawi is being detained at the same prison as her brother and Abulkhair, who is described by Amnesty International as her former husband.
Raif Badawi, who is not a Canadian citizen, was arrested in 2012 for his criticism of Saudi clerics and was convicted in 2014.
He was sentenced to 10 years in jail as well as 1,000 lashes. He received the first 50 last January during a public flogging.
His imprisonment has drawn widespread condemnation both internationally and in Canada.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said last month he had no "immediate plans" to call Saudi Arabian authorities to ask that Badawi be freed.
Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion did raise the matter with his Saudi counterpart, Adel Al Jubeir, when they met in Ottawa on Dec. 17.
They discussed the state of human rights in Saudi Arabia as well as Badawi's case, where Dion reiterated a request for clemency.
Amnesty International decried Samar Badawi's arrest, calling it yet another example of Saudi Arabia's "utter contempt" for its human rights obligations.
The organization quoted local activists as saying Badawi was arrested in Jeddah and then transferred along with her two-year-old daughter Joud to a police station.
"Samar Badawi's arrest is yet another alarming setback for human rights in Saudi Arabia and demonstrates the extreme lengths to which the authorities are prepared to go in their relentless campaign to harass and intimidate human rights defenders into silent submission," said Philip Luther, director of the Middle East and North Africa program.