Ensaf Haidar

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Ensaf Haidar
إنصاف حيدر
Ensaf Haidar, wife of Raif Badawi speaking in 2015.jpg
Ensaf Haidar (left), speaking in 2015.
Born1975 (age 42–43)
Jizan, Saudi Arabia
ResidenceSherbrooke, Quebec, Canada
NationalitySaudi Arabia Saudi
Canada Canadian
OccupationHuman rights activist
Raif Badawi (m. 2002)
RelativesSamar Badawi (Sister in Law)

Ensaf Haidar (Arabic: إنصاف حيدر‎; born 1975) in Jizan, Saudi Arabia, is a Saudi Arabian-Canadian human rights activist. She is the wife of Raif Badawi[1] and campaigns for his freedom. She is the president of the Raif Badawi Foundation for Freedom, which campaigns for freedom of speech and human rights awareness in the Arab world.[2]

Personal life[edit]

She married Badawi in Saudi Arabia in 2002 and began his case this after directing harsh criticism against the religious establishment through articles and media interviews, which angered radical Saudi clerics, including Abdul-Rahman al-Barrak, Saudi religious scholar, and former member of the teaching body of Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University.

After her husband was imprisoned, she fled with her children to Canada. She disagrees with her husband about Saudi Arabia, as she stated that Badawi couldn't move overseas because he loves and is patriotic to Saudi Arabia, and Haidar stated that the only thing she misses from Saudi Arabia is her husband and she and her children became Canadian citizens in 2018.

Her native language is Arabic, her preferred language of public speaking, but she is additionally conversational in English and French, and uses the former as her primary language in social media with the latter as a secondary language pertaining for communication with the Quebecois.

Arrest of Raif Badawi[edit]

"The Saudi people rejected their liberal ideas and they were agents of the embassies. Then the voices calling for Raif's arrest and trial escalated, and the Saudi authorities arrested him on the order of the investigative body on June 12, 2012. " She noted that Saudi cleric Abdul-Rahman al-Barrak issued a fatwa against Badawi, accusing him of apostasy and incited the population to kill him. However, Badawi was confirmed to be a Muslim after reciting the Shahada. He was arrested on June 12, 2012. She left Saudi Arabia with her children as soon as the fatwa was issued for her husband, months before his arrest. Badawi stayed behind, according to Haidar he objected against relocating overseas because he loved and is patriotic to Saudi Arabia. Immediately after his arrest, Haidar traveled to Canada, where she remains with her children. She stated, "I was afraid for my life and the lives of my children, We moved to Lebanon, and then we moved to Canada immediately after his arrest, where we got a permit to establish a temporary residence". Her husband told her in a phone call that his morale was high.


She agrees with her husband about the need to abolish the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, commonly known as the religious police. International bodies and human rights organizations demanded the release of the Raif Badawi immediately out of respect for freedom of opinion. According to Haidar, Mohammed Badawi, Raif's father, said in a number of media interviews that "his son is an atheist, demanding that he be punished on the air.", although Raif recited the Shahada in court to disprove any claims of himself being an atheist and prior to this he has made Umrah with their three children.

Awards and Honors[edit]


Haidar and her three children with Badawi became Canadian citizens on Canada Day, 2018.[7] On the same day Haidar called for the niqab to be banned.[7][8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Jailed Saudi blogger Raif Badawi wins Pen Pinter prize". 6 October 2015. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  2. ^ "The Raif Badawi Foundation for Freedom". The Raif Badawi Foundation. Retrieved 2016-03-31.
  3. ^ "Ensaf Haidar, Raif Badawi and Waleed Abulkhair awarded Freethinker Prize 2015". Freethinkers Association of Switzerland. 15 October 2015. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  4. ^ "À LA DÉFENSE DE LA LIBERTÉ D'EXPRESSION". 14 March 2016. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  5. ^ "Raif Badawi and Ensaf Haidar receive the Deschner Prize". 14 March 2016. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  6. ^ "Goldene Victoria: Rede von Ensaf Haidar bei der Publishers' Night". 10 November 2017. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  7. ^ a b "Wife of jailed Saudi blogger Raif Badawi calls for burqa ban in Ontario". July 2018.
  8. ^ "Ensaf Haidar: Ban The Burqa - The Post Millennial". www.thepostmillennial.com.