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Fellow Blogger In Saudi Arabia Needs Our Support After Being Detained

January 2, 2008

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The idea that anyone would censor my thoughts or try and limit my views from being posted on my blog is impossible for me to consider.  The idea that I might be held for interrogation by my government for ideas I post is something I may joke about given the climate in the White House, but it is nothing I seriously am concerned about.

That however is not the case for Fouad al-Farhan, a blogger in Saudi Arabia who is being detained for posting about political prisoners in that country.    Mr. Farhan had written to his friends recently alerting them to the fact that his arrest was coming.

“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 an online campaign promoting their issue,” the letter continued, saying that Mr. Farhan had been asked to sign a statement of apology.

“I’m not sure if I’m ready to do that,” he wrote. “An apology for what? Apologizing because I said the government is a liar when they accused those guys to be supporting terrorism?”

I urge my readers and fellow bloggers to show support for this man by posting entries on his blog (www.alfarhan.org)  (or the English version http://en.freefouad.com/) to show that there is international support for freedom of speech and political debate.  The blog can be found under a banner that reads “Free Fouad” and features his picture. 

At the top of Mr. Farhan’s blog is a call in Arabic for “freedom, dignity, justice, equality, public participation and the other lost Islamic values.” People from around the world need to step up and address this detention in strong words.

Far too often we spout the virtues of democracy and freedom of speech, but then do too little to advance those causes in real and meaningful ways.  Without ever leaving your computer chair you can make a statement and a difference.

Speak up for a fellow blogger than cannot do that for himself at this time.

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