“The Master of Saudi Bloggers”.. Arrested!

Fouad Alfarhan is the name of the Saudi blogger who was arrested for blogging about Saudi political detainees, placing support banners linking to the activists’ web blogs, and criticizing Saudi figures.. He is considered to be among the first bloggers to exercise freedom of speech on the internet revealing his identity in Saudi Arabia, a country which claims to follow the great religion of Islam -which completely respects freedom of speech- yet arrests everyone who talks, writes, or even thinks about politics or demanding human rights. What is interesting in Alfarhan’s case is that he made a post prior to his arrest in which he says that he was informed of his arrest which was orderd by “a high ranking official”..

The current maintainers of the blog have published an English version of that post:

This a letter sent by Fouad a few days before his arrest to his friends:I was told that there is an official order from a high-ranking official in the Ministry of the Interior to investigate me. They will pick me up anytime in the next 2 weeks.The issue that caused all of this is because I wrote about the political prisoners here in Saudi Arabia and they think I’m running a online campaign promoting their issue. All what I did is wrote some pieces and put side banners and asked other bloggers to do the same. he asked me to comply with him and sign an apology. I’m not sure if I’m ready to do that. An apology for what? Apologizing because I said the government is liar when they accused those guys to be supporting terrorism?To expect the worst which is to be jailed for 3 days till we write good feedback about you and let u gothere may be no jial and only apologizing letter. But, if it’s more than three days, it should be out. I don’t want to be forgotten in jail.” Alfarhan.org

The case has taken the world by storm since the arrest was made public through his blog.. News agencies, bloggers, and high US and Saudi officials were in contact through the American embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Further more, Arab and international TV stations have given Alfarhan’s case good coverage and promoted discussion and helped build support for Alfarhan while he is being jailed with no official charges. Alfarhan’s friends -who are currently operating the blog and asking for his release- have displayed clips of Arabic and Englis news reports and interviews:
Visit Alfarhan’s blog for all tv coverage links

Aside from the intense and media coverage and the intimidated public opinion, Alfarhan’s friends and supporters have started an online petition demanding his release which can be viewed and signed here. More over, around 650 ~current number~ sympathizers and supporters of Alfarhan have gathered in a facebook group named “Free Fouad” discussing his case and demanding his release.







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