First Published: 2017-02-15

Sister of jailed blogger questioned in Saudi
Women's rights advocate Samar Badawi, sister of jailed blogger Raif Badawi, questioned by authorities concerning her activism.
Middle East Online

Activists hold up portraits of jailed Saudi blogger Raif Badawi

RIYADH - Saudi Arabian authorities on Wednesday questioned the sister of jailed blogger Raif Badawi over her activism, the second time in 12 months, she said on Twitter.

"Today's investigation is related to previous issues about my HR (human rights) and civil activities including women's campaign against male guardians," Samar Badawi said in a Twitter post, hours after she had been summoned to appear before investigators in Jeddah.

"Thanks and regards for those who supported me and prayed for me. You are my real strength," Badawi tweeted on Wednesday, not mentioning whether she expected further questioning.

Saudi Arabia has some of the world's tightest restrictions on women, and is the only country where they are not allowed to drive.

Under Saudi Arabia's guardianship system a male family member, normally the father, husband or brother, must grant permission for a woman's study, travel and other activities.

Badawi is the ex-wife of her brother Raif's lawyer, Waleed Abu al-Khair, a rights activist who himself is serving a 15-year prison sentence.

Activists in January 2016 said Badawi had been interrogated at that time for her activism and whether she controlled her then-husband Khair's Twitter account.

Badawi remained under investigation after her 2016 interrogation, the activists said.

Raif Badawi was arrested in 2012. A Saudi court sentenced him to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in prison for insulting Islam, a decision which generated worldwide outrage.

Only the first 50 lashes of the punishment were administered, in January 2015.

His wife is currently in Canada with their three children.

Monitors say Saudi Arabia has stepped up its repression of peaceful rights activists this year.

 

Libya to investigate 'slave auction' footage

Iraq top court declares Kurd referendum unconstitutional

Saudi Arabia, Arab allies push for unity against Iran, Hezbollah meddling

15 women killed in food aid crush in Morocco

Rare moments of joy at Arabs’ unprecedented World Cup qualifications

UN chief horrified by Libya slave auctions

Qatar 2022 chief has no regrets over hosting World Cup

Gheit says Lebanon should be 'spared' from regional tensions

Syria ‘de-escalation zone’ does nothing to stop civilian deaths

Is a demilitarised Palestinian state a viable option?

S&P affirms good Saudi credit ratings

Israel president faces big backlash over Palestinian scarf

Sudan leader to visit Russia Thursday

Seven years into Libya’s civil war, the chaos continues

Lebanon FM will not attend Arab League Iran summit

Syrian forces liberate Albu Kamal from IS

Israel votes to shut migrant centre, deport Africans

Diplomats from Iran, Russia, Turkey discuss Syria

Libya to investigate ‘slave auction’ footage

Piece by piece, Iran moves towards a ‘new empire’

Netanyahu faces new questioning over corruption case

Syria troops, allies retake most of Albu Kamal from IS

EU cuts funding to Turkey in 2018 budget

Lebanon's Hariri arrives in Paris

Egypt opens Gaza border for first time since unity deal

US-Russia rift threatens fragile prospects for Syria peace

'Caliphate' in tatters but IS still a threat

Saudi Arabia recalls ambassador to Berlin over Gabriel Lebanon comments

Russia again vetoes renewal of Syria gas attacks probe

UN weighs bid to save Syria gas attacks probe

IS attack kills 26 displaced people in Syria

Saudi FM says Lebanon 'held hostage by Hezbollah'

Egypt to open Rafah crossing for 3 days

Turkish troops pulled from NATO drill amid new tensions

Six children among civilians killed in shelling of Eastern Ghouta

US official calls on Sudan to stop 'church demolitions'

Hariri set to leave Saudi Arabia for France

Fears of bombs, IS cells still haunt Mosul

Iraq retakes Rawa, last town held by IS

Riyadh striking deals with people detained in anti-graft purge

Iran criticises French Mideast policy

Russia again blocks UN resolution on Syria action

Israel military chief says ready to cooperate with Saudi Arabia

Egypt confirms death of wanted jihadist

UK denies link between citizen detained in Iran and £400m debt