Saudi Authorities Still Detain Blogger Fouad Al Farhan
|Monday, December 24,2007 12:36|
Saudi authorities detained, two weeks ago, blogger Fouad Al Farhan without declaring reasons for- or place of- this detention. Some observers voice concerns that that he may be facing pressures because of his frank support to Saudi reformists and his demands for supporting reform as a key factor for countering terrorism .
Saudi security services stormed into the Jeddah-based SmartInfo office of Fouad Al Farhan and took him to an unidentified location and he hasn"t been released yet although other reform-leaning bloggers are usually released days after their detention.
Al Farhan, considered by many as being the dean of Saudi bloggers for being among the first to blog in his country using his real name, is distinguished by his serious writings and his support to reform in his weblog Http://www.Alfarhan.org, whose slogan is "In search for freedom, dignity, justice, equality, consultation, and other missing Islamic values... for Raghad and Khattab."
It"s worth mentioning that Saudi authorities is used to harassing Saudi bloggers from time to time through arresting some bloggers like Sargon Matar in addition to blocking many Saudi weblogs, like Saudi weblog of Saudi Eve, eveksa.blogspot.com.
For his part, Gamal Eid, legal researcher and the executive director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, said:" The Saudi attitude towards terrorism is actually confusing. When a young man is arrested while he blogs in a mature manner, opposes terrorism, calls for reform, there is no violation in his writing, this is a serious indication that hardliners and those opposing freedom of expression and reform are controlling over Saudi Arabia ".
Ahmed Fouad Al Farhan, 32, a father of two children " Raghad and Khattab, is manager of SmartInfo in Jeddah, has an MA of computer sciences from the United States . He has had a high profile through his weblog and through his writings which are very bold and contain a constructive criticism, giving him a huge fame and respect among Arab and Saudi bloggers.