On Wednesday, Saudi Arabia opened up its first cinema in over 35 years, marking a historic shift in the ultra-conservative kingdom.
Instead, he decided to remind the world that his fight for change in the kingdom landed him a 10-year prison sentence and 1,000 lashes.
To date, Badawi has been in prison for six years, following the launch of his website "Free Saudi Liberals," initially created for the sole purpose of debating political and religious issues in the kingdom.
"Asking for it led a peaceful man to spending 6 years behind bars to date"
In 2012, Badawi was arrested on a number of charges, including insulting Islam and apostasy. Subsequently, the blogger was convicted and sentenced to seven years in prison and 600 lashes in 2013 but was then re-sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in prison one year later.
Since then, an ongoing campaign - led by his wife and human rights activist, Ensaf Haidar - has fought to #FreeRaif. Haidar and the couple's three kids are currently living in exile in Canada.
In 2017, she urged the newly appointed crown prince Mohammad bin Salman to release her husband from prison.
A number of people on Twitter are standing in solidarity with Badawi, in hopes to finally make #FreeRaif a reality.
A "gut-wrenching story is a reminder of how precious our freedoms are"
"We shall not forget Raif Badawi"
"Rotting in a Saudi jail just for being courageous"
"Raif Badawi should never have been persecuted and prosecuted for expressing liberal views"
Not everyone is on Badawi's side
Many claimed that Badawi did break the kingdom's laws at the time
"He deserved it because he insulted the holy Quran"
Although Badawi has been behind bars for six years, his impact in the world of journalism lives on.
Earlier this year, Badawi was announced as the winner of the 2018 Daniel Pearl Award for Courage and Integrity in Journalism, an award given annually in honor of Daniel Pearl, a Wall Street Journal reporter who was kidnapped and killed in Pakistan in 2002.
"Freedom of speech is a cornerstone of our democracy and we must be vigilant, even with our allies, to make sure that imprisonment and torture are not used to stifle public discourse or discontent," said Chris Palmeri, the LA Press Club's president, in a statement.
Badawi's wife, Ensaf Haidar, along with their three children - who are currently residing in Canada - will fly out to Los Angeles to accept the award on behalf of Badawi on June 24.
Over the years, Badawi's story has won numerous human rights awards time and again, including the Prix Voltaire award "for showing exemplary courage in upholding freedom of speech."
In 2017, Badawi was awarded the Sakharov Prize for human rights by the European Parliament.