Fouad al-Farhan, the Saudi blogger who was imprisoned in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia back in December 2007, was released on 26th of April, after five months in prison. I wrote about Fouad and Saudi censorship in general here.
To quote the Arab News from 27th of April:
“Al-Farhan was detained in December for “violating regulations,” according to official statements that made it clear that charges against him had nothing to do with national security concerns. No charges were ever pressed or outlined. The Interior Ministry issued no statements about the release yesterday.”
I’d like to take this opportunity to send my best wishes to Al-Farhan, and his family and friends who supported him throughout his ordeal in the hands of a regime which has no respect for human rights or freedom of speech.
Saudi Jeans is a blog written by Ahmed, a friend of Fouad’s, who showed courage by publicly supporting Fouad throughout his imprisonment. Something that we very often take for granted in Ireland is being able to speak our mind, and to stand up for what we think is right. This is taken to another level on the interent, where we can hide behind blog identities and names like phaserkid89. It’s annoying when the anonymity of leaving a comment sometimes leads to senseless negativity, but for the most part, the internet does give an on-line voice to people who have something to say outside of the mainstream media.
In Saudi, freedom of speech is not a given, even on the internet. I think by not being bullied into silence, Ahmed and his blogging colleagues deserve our admiration.