The Sakharov prize

Take that, Saudi theocrats: Raif Badawi has won the Sakharov prize.

The announcement was greeted on Thursday with a standing ovation at the European parliament in Strasbourg, France, but will be seen by Saudi Arabia as another diplomatic slight at a time when its domestic and international policies are coming under growing criticism.

What do you mean “but”? That’s an “and.”

Martin Schulz, the European parliament president, said: “I urge the king of Saudi Arabia to free him [Badawi], so he can accept the prize.”

And be free, and not be flogged, and be with Ensaf and their children again.

Named after the Soviet scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov, the award was created in 1988 to honour people and organisations defending human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Let him go.

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