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Pence calls on Saudi Arabia to release critic of Islam

Pence calls on Saudi Arabia to release critic of Islam
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Vice President Mike Pence President delivers remarks to the National Rifle Association-Institute for Legislative Action's (NRA-ILA) 148th annual meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S., April 26, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo -
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Leah Millis(Reuters)
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday called out ally Saudi Arabia for the suppression of religious liberties and urged it to release Raif Badawi, a blogger imprisoned for criticizing Islam.

Addressing a conference on religious freedom at the State Department, Pence highlighted the detention of religious dissidents in Eritrea, Mauritania, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

“All four of these men have stood strong in defence of religious liberty, despite unimaginable pressure, and the American people stand with them,” Pence said, “The United States calls upon the governments of Eritrea, Mauritania, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to respect the freedom of conscience and let these men go.”

(Reporting by Lesley Wroughton and David Brunnstrom; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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