April 28, 2021 Find out more June 17, 2015 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Saudi king urged to pardon blogger on third anniversary of arrest June 8, 2021 Find out more Organisation News NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say Badawi has been detained since 17 June 2012 for creating an online discussion forum. The sentence passed on him after a series of unfair trials – 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes – was upheld by the supreme court ten days ago. There is no longer any way of obtaining his release by means of an appeal.Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar, told RSF she was so saddened and upset by the anniversary that she was “incapable of describing” how she felt. She reiterated her appeal to the king to pardon her husband – an appeal supported by RSF.“With the month of Ramadan newly under way, we ask King Salman bin Abdulaziz to show clemency and pardon Raif Badawi, the father of three children, as this is now the only way to free him,” said Alexandra El Khazen, the head of RSF’s Middle East desk. “This young Saudi has already been held for three years in deplorable conditions and is in very poor health. His immediate release is vital.”Discretionary justiceReached by RSF, Saudi human rights activist Hala Al-Dosari attributed Badawi’s continuing detention to the flaws in Saudi Arabia’s judicial system.“The biggest problem in Saudi Arabia is the fact that criminal law is exclusively based on the Sharia, which is in fact discretionary,” she said, adding that the Badawi case is a clear example of how the punishments imposed by the judicial system are incompatible with international standards.“The international community’s support and diplomatic efforts can help, because this has an impact on the Saudi authorities,” she said.In the eyes of the Saudi justice system, Badawi is guilty according to sharia and he was convicted above all of breaking its rules. The three years he has spent in prison is already more than adequate as punishment for what he was accused of doing. It is time to free him.RSF has been campaigning for months for the release of Badawi, who was awarded its press freedom prize in 2014 in the Netizen category. A petition for his release launched by RSF already has more than 46,000 signatures.In a joint initiative with its national sections and foreign bureaux, RSF also sent letters to heads of state and government urging them to intercede with the Saudi authorities on Badawi’s behalf. Recipients included US President Barack Obama, French President François Hollande and Spanish Premier Mariano Rajoy.The Saudi authorities tolerate no independent media outlets and have been steadily tightening their grip on the Internet since the Arab spring in 2011. Online information is closely controlled and the regime does not hesitate to use security grounds and a draconian cyber-crime law to jail bloggers. News RSF_en Follow the news on Saudi Arabia March 9, 2021 Find out more Saudi ArabiaMiddle East – North Africa News Receive email alerts On the third anniversary of Raif Badawi’s arrest, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates its call to Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz to demonstrate clemency and pardon this young blogger. Saudi ArabiaMiddle East – North Africa RSF joins Middle East and North Africa coalition to combat digital surveillance News to go further Help by sharing this information Saudi media silent on RSF complaint against MBS
Danish labour-market pension fund Industriens Pension predicts that the current peg between the Danish krone and the euro could be seriously challenged in a few years’ time but sees the krone holding within narrow bands relative to the pan-European currency for now, despite the European Central Bank’s (ECB) expected quantitative easing (QE) programme.The DKK127bn (€1bn) pension fund said it was preparing for the widely expected announcement by the ECB to start wide-scale QE by holding onto its bond risk levels in Danish and core euro area sovereign bonds, while at the same time taking short positions on US Treasuries.Morten Kongshaug, portfolio manager for tactical asset allocation at Industriens, told IPE: “On a two to three-year horizon, the peg may be challenged for real,” he said.“But in the short term, the Danish krone will keep its narrow plus or minus 0.5% level against the euro.” Industriens had not started hedging euro risk, he said, but added that it was considering covering the tail risk of the Danish krone leaving its peg.However, this is a strategic asset allocation question – i.e. a long-term one – rather than a tactical asset allocation choice, Kongshaug said.The prospect of wide-scale ECB quantitative easing has sparked speculation about whether the Danish krone would be able to maintain its current peg to the euro in such circumstances.Asked what the pension fund had already done to prepare for the ECB’s forecast bond-buying spree, he said: “We have kept bond risk in Danish and core euro government bonds, while shorting US Treasury risk.”However, in the immediate term, the pension fund said it did not expect financial markets to change much if the expected broad QE programme were confirmed by the ECB after its governing council meets.“We are disappointed in the short term, as a large-scale QE programme is already discounted,” he said.Kongshaug said the ECB was likely to get national central banks within the euro area to do the bond-buying in any QE programme, rather than buying the debt itself.How the buying volumes will be divided up between the debt of the various euro states will be determined using specific data, he predicted.“The ECB will use capital key weights in its purchase,” he said.This division of the buying will be important for the pricing of risk-free bonds such as German bunds, Kongshaug said.