Saudi human rights activist and wife of Saudi writer and blogger Raif Badawi, Ensaf Haidar, has urged the newly appointed crown prince to release her husband from prison. 

In an exclusive interview with Newsweek, Haidar asked Mohammad bin Salman to "write a new history," by releasing prisoners of conscience. 

She urged MBS to end her husband's ordeal, which started five years ago.

"I am respectfully calling on his Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to write a new history in our country and a process of national reconciliation with Saudi prisoners of conscience," Haidar told Newsweek.

"With full respect, my children and I are hoping that Prince Mohammad bin Salman will release my husband Raif Badawi and allow him to reunite with us in Canada," she added.

Badawi was first arrested in 2012 for "insulting Islam through electronic channels," which was mainly done through his website Free Saudi Liberals

He was charged in 2014 for arguing for greater freedom of speech in the kingdom and the secularization of the government. He was given a sentence of 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes.  

Since then, an ongoing campaign has fought to #FreeRaif. Badawi's story captured the world's attention, winning human rights awards, including the Prix Voltaire Award "for showing exemplary courage in upholding freedom of speech."

Haidar hopes that the new crown prince MBS - being the face of modernization at 31-years-old - will change things for activists and bloggers in the kingdom. 

"Hope is always my guide in this campaign for Raif’s release. And I have to say that we are all are looking with great anticipation and hope to the next steps of the young prince," she said.

"We have hope that his appointment will be the beginning of a new chapter in dealing with the prisoners of conscience in Saudi Arabia, including my husband Raif."

"The prince has a big great chance to show the world his vision of Saudi Arabia," Haidar continued

MBS' vision for the kingdom

Last week, Saudi Arabia's deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz was named crown prince of the kingdom, replacing his cousin Muhammad bin Nayef. 

Mohammed bin Salman first rose to prominence in 2015 and has since gained power with his position as defense minister. He has also played a key role in overseeing the state oil company and reshuffling the kingdom's economy, an integral part of Riyadh's Vision 2030.

Many were quick to praise the decision, calling him a "visionary charismatic leader." 

MBS has already launched several projects with an aim to help the kingdom strengthen its economic, social, and political position worldwide. 

He has successfully gained popularity among Saudi nationals and has given people hope for change. 

Let's hope #FreeRaif becomes a reality.