Hello again readers! Taylor’s back in her new regular Saturday slot with another post about Raif Badawi. Before we get to her post, though, here’s a few things for you to see in case you’re unfamiliar with his case.
First, an overview of Raif’s case, the history and the abuses which he has endured.
Next, an article from the Daily Mail from 2019 regarding his mental state.
Finally, a graphic which summarizes his plight and what you can do about it.
That’s the end of my intro. So now it’s Taylor’s Time.
“Torture is the wife of suffering. Death is their only child.” – Taylor Anne Vigil
A prisoner, no, a blogger, sits alone in his prison cell. His shadow is his only companion. The walls are bare, the ceiling moldy. It becomes harder to breathe with each passing day. He thinks of death. He plans for death. And in the back of his mind, he wishes for death. He welcomes it as one welcomes an old friend. He shakes Death by the hand without ever entering his home. He lifts his head from his knees and cries out.
I am there in his scream.
A boy sits alone in his bedroom. His sisters are talking outside his door, discussing what methods they will use to free their father, but the boy doesn’t hear them. His father’s face looks down on him from a faded photograph. He lifts his head from his folded arms.
I am there in his thoughts.
“Papa, I never thought I would live without you. I wonder if anyone understands what it’s like to miss someone so badly. It’s all I know. Why are you in prison Papa? I ask myself this every day.”
A woman sits alone at her kitchen table. She weeps as she thinks of her beloved, weeps while the children are distracted. She wonders if he is still planning for death, if he still wants his body shipped from the prison in Saudi Arabia to her home in Quebec as he told her on the phone. She lifts her head and whispers to the empty seat beside her.
I am there in her tears.
“Raif, my darling. My love. I miss your hugs.”
I am grief. I am anguish. I am suffering. And I am with the blogger and his family every day.
Death is my acquaintance. Most people believe that he is the result of existence. What they don’t know is that it’s actually the other way around.
I am closest to the blogger. He is never any closer to death, but he is never any further away either. However I am always at his side, and with the way things are going for him, I will not be leaving anytime soon.
Every day, I grow more worried for Raif. Recently, I stumbled upon an article from 2019. What I read made my stomach churn.
“Now, in an exclusive interview ahead of the fourth anniversary of her husband’s public flogging, she revealed that Badawi is severely depressed and making plans for when he dies.”
‘Raif is very depressed,’ she said. ‘He informed me that if he died, he wants his body shipped to Quebec so his soul will stay in peace.’” –
This worries me greatly because the more recent reports on Raif’s mental health are grave. As I’ve stated in past posts, he is under immense physiological distress.
Unlike the article quoted above, there was no comment from Ensaf in this one that indicated that she is in contact with her husband. I suspect that neither she nor their children have heard from him since late 2020. I also suspect that he was placed into isolation yet again. The authorities’ excuse this time? An assassination attempt conducted by another prisoner who is said to be a member of a terrorist group, as are most of the prisoners that Raif is surrounded by.
But what if I am wrong and Raif isn’t in isolation? That worries me even more, as he is more likely to be violently attacked again and who knows what the next attacker will do. His putative guards certainly do nothing to protect him from other prisoners.
Raif did only as I do now. He wrote. He didn’t carry arms. He didn’t kill anyone. He didn’t blow anything up. All he did was speak for those who couldn’t. And I will not, can not, stand by and allow the abuse he is currently suffering.
So, I beg you, my dear readers, to share this post, to say Raif’s name, to save his life.