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Saudi Arabia: Free Fouad Update
Saudi Arabia: Free Fouad Update
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?
Wednesday, December 26,2007 10:58
IkhwanWeb

 

FreeFouad

The leading Saudi blogger, Fouad Alfarhan, who has been arrested in Jeddah on December 10, 2007 for exercising his freedom of speech on his popular blog

alfarhan.org has sent a letter 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 go

there 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.

According to his wife with whom we talked, Fouad’s arrest was directly linked to his blogging activities. He may remain in custody for a one-month investigation period. After that his family will be allowed to visit him and be informed about his case and the possible charges that might be brought against him. Fouad is apparently being held, without charge or trial, at the Ministry of Interior’s security service (al-Mabahith al-’Amma) headquarter in Jeddah. He has been arrested at his office in Jeddah and had been led to his home where police confiscated his laptop computer.

This is not the first time that Fouad has run into trouble with Saudi authorities. Last year, Fouad was questioned by plainclothes police and was forced to

shut down his blog. After a hiatus of few months, Fouad decided to continue blogging.Several bloggers and activists are organizing an online Free Fouad campaign at freefouad.com to call attention to Fouad. As so far, a support group created on

Facebook for Fouad has gathered 295 members.In a statement issued on December 24, 2007, The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information condemned the “unjustified detention” of blogger Fouad Alfarhan and urged the Saudi authorities to reveal the reason of arresting him. “When the Saudi authorities arrest a young man writing maturely and is against terrorism and calls for reformation, it is a serious indicator for how far are the fanatic and those opposing freedom of expression and reformation are taking over in Saudi Arabia,” the executive director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, Mr. Gamal said.

Saudi Arabia: A famous Saudi blogger taken in detention

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information stated today that the Saudi authority should reveal the reasons behind taking the famous Saudi blogger Fouad El Farhan in detention, and the reasons behind kidnapping him from his job premise two weeks ago, namely on December 10, 2007, which is the world human rights day.

The Saudi security services came through the office of Fouad El Farhan in “Smart Info Co.” in Jeddah and took him to an unknown place without stating the reasons behind taking him . Fouad El Farhan was not set free till now, however it is usual for the Saudi security to set the bloggers free after few days of detention. The Saudi bloggers are playing a crucial role in supporting the peaceful reformation in Saudi Arabia.

Al Farhan is one of the most significant Saudi and Arabian bloogers, he is known as the dean of Saudi bloggers. His writings found in his blog www.alfarhan.org are serious ones and supporting reformation. The slogan of his blog says “Searching for freedom, dignity, justice, equality, Shura and all the remaining Islamic values which are missing.. for Raghad and Khitab ( the names of his daughters).

It is noteworthy that Saudi authorities are harassing Saudi bloggers from time to time and are arresting most of them like the Saudi blogger “Sargon Matar”. Moreover many Saudi blogs were banned like Saudi “Hawa” blog.

Many Saudi activists thought that the Saudi security services would free Al Farhan on Al Adha feast but it did not happen. Two weeks without freeing Al Farhan or revealing the reasons or the place of detention is rising fears and worries about Al Farhan upon whom pressures might be exercised for his frank and obvious support for the Saudi reformers. Al Farhan is know of his call for supporting reformation as a means of confronting terrorism.

Gamal Eid, the executive director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, said, “Many question marks are put around the real Saudi stance about terrorism”. “When the Saudi authorities arrest a young man writing maturely and is against terrorism and calls for reformation, it is a serious indicator for how far are the fanatic and those opposing freedom of expression and reformation are taking over in Saudi Arabia”, Mr. Gamal added.

Ahmad Fouad Al Farhan, 32 years old a father of two daughters “ Raghad and Khitab” works as a manager at “Smart Info Co.,” in Jeddah. He has an M.A degree in IT from the United States. His outstanding writings in his blog bearing his name gave him a fame and respect among Saudi and Arab bloggers.

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information condemns arresting Al Farhan and the unjustified detention in an unknown place. In the same time the Network stresses that nothing at all can justify arresting Al Farhan or any other citizen without a legal evidence and reasons of such detention. The declared stances of Saudi authorities should get aligned with its actual practices.

source : Arabic Network of Human Rights information

Freedom of Speech! What Freedom of Speech?

Saudi Arabia added yet another accolade to its freedom of speech record by arresting its first blogger. Fouad 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, has been arrested in Jeddah. No further news is available for the reasons for his detention.

He was taken on the 10th of Dec… the Human Rights Day!

How ironic?

source: lalla mona

Saudi Blogger Arrested

Filed under: Free Fouad — Free Fouad @ 10:48 am

Fouad Al Farhan, a leading Saudi blogger, has been arrested in Jeddah about two weeks ago. The reasons behind the detention of Al Farhan remain unclear, but it is known that he had to shut down his blog previously after being harassed by some authorities. He remained on hiatus for a few months, but he decided later to come back and continue blogging because he believes that freedom, justice and equality are values worth fighting for.
I have met Fouad a couple of times and I have interviewed him for Global Voices.Fellow bloggers and friends are launching a campaign to release Fouad. More details about the campaign and what you can do to support him can be found here.I hope that Fouad would be released soon to come back to his family and friends. This country needs more people like him, people who love their country and want to see it thrive and advance.

Related Links:

source: Saudi Jeans

Saudi Blogger Arrested

A Saudi blogger, Fuad Al-Farhan, noted for his promotion of moderate reform in Saudi Arabia has been arrested for a second time in just over a year. Saudi and other Gulf Arab blogs have been commenting on it and calling for his release. Exactly what he did to get arrested isn’t known, but as this report from Rasheed Abou-Alsamh (Rasheed’s World) states, it may because he visited a Saudi academic currently jailed for his own actions (political reform, according to his supporters; funding terrorism, according to the government). Rasheed knows Fuad and I know Rasheed, so I consider this a solid story.

Thanks to commenter ‘Saudi in the US’ for the leads to the story. More coverage can be found at Global Voices Online (English) and Mashi SaH (Arabic, with links to other Arabic blogs).

Saudi Blogger Fuad Al-Farhan Arrested AgainSEVERAL Gulf bloggers have now confirmed that Saudi blogger Fuad Al-Farhan was arrested last week before Eid in Jeddah.I know Fuad personally and have met him several times and interviewed him for stories. The last time I saw him was when I had lunch with him, Faiza Ambah and the English writer Robert Lacey at Casper & Gambini in early December. He was in good spirits and did not have an inkling yet that he was in trouble.

Around a week later he called a mutual friend of ours and said that he was worried as a person in the Ministry of the Interior had called him to warn him that his name was on a list of people to be arrested and held for questioning. According to the government official, Fuad was to be held initially for three days, and if he was not cooperative then his stay with the secret police could be expanded to two weeks.

As the Bahraini blogger Mahmoud of Mahmoud’s Den wrote today, this is not the first time that Fuad has run afoul of Saudi authorities. In November 2006 he was questioned by two plainclothes officials about his blog and warned that if he did not stop criticizing government officials he would face negative consequences. Scared that his IT business could be affected by what he wrote on his blog, Fuad stopped blogging for several months.

The latest arrest comes after he visited one of nine Saudi reformists who were arrested on Feb. 10, 2007, and are still being held at a secret police detention facility in north Jeddah after refusing to sign undertakings that they would seize [cease] their calls for political reform. Fuad wrote about his visit on his blog.

source: Crossroads Arabia

Saudi reformist blogger arrested

Saudi and Gulf area bloggers are reporting today that Saudi blogger Fuad Al-Farhan was arrested before Eid in Jeddah. Al-Farhan is considered a pioneer in Saudi blogging, advocating moderate reform in Saudi Arabia and addressing many controversial Saudi issues.

Rasheeds’s World, a Saudi-American blogger, reports:”I know Fuad personally and have met him several times and interviewed him for stories. The last time I saw him was when I had lunch with him, Faiza Ambah and the English writer Robert Lacey at Casper & Gambini in early December. He was in good spirits and did not have an inkling yet that he was in trouble.”Around a week later he called a mutual friend of ours and said that he was worried as a person in the Ministry of the Interior had called him to warn him that his name was on a list of people to be arrested and held for questioning. According to the government official, Fuad was to be held initially for three days, and if he was not cooperative then his stay with the secret police could be expanded to two weeks.

“As the Bahraini blogger Mahmoud of Mahmoud’s Den wrote today, this is not the first time that Fuad has run afoul of Saudi authorities. In November 2006 he was questioned by two plainclothes officials about his blog and warned that if he did not stop criticizing government officials he would face negative consequences. Scared that his IT business could be affected by what he wrote on his blog, Fuad stopped blogging for several months.

“The latest arrest comes after he visited one of nine Saudi reformists who were arrested on Feb. 10, 2007, and are still being held at a secret police detention facility in north Jeddah after refusing to sign undertakings that they would seize [cease] their calls for political reform.”

source: 13 Martyrs

Saudi Blogger Fuad Al-Farhan Arrested Again

SEVERAL Gulf bloggers have now confirmed that Saudi blogger Fuad Al-Farhan was arrested last week before Eid in Jeddah.I know Fuad personally and have met him several times and interviewed him for stories. The last time I saw him was when I had lunch with him, Faiza Ambah and the English writer Robert Lacey at Casper & Gambini in early December. He was in good spirits and did not have an inkling yet that he was in trouble.Around a week later he called a mutual friend of ours and said that he was worried as a person in the Ministry of the Interior had called him to warn him that his name was on a list of people to be arrested and held for questioning. According to the government official, Fuad was to be held initially for three days, and if he was not cooperative then his stay with the secret police could be expanded to two weeks.As the Bahraini blogger Mahmoud of Mahmoud’s Den wrote today, this is not the first time that Fuad has run afoul of Saudi authorities. In November 2006 he was questioned by two plainclothes officials about his blog and warned that if he did not stop criticizing government officials he would face negative consequences. Scared that his IT business could be affected by what he wrote on his blog, Fuad stopped blogging for several months.

The latest arrest comes after he visited one of nine Saudi reformists who were arrested on Feb. 10, 2007, and are still being held at a secret police detention facility in north Jeddah after refusing to sign undertakings that they would seize their calls for political reform. Fuad wrote about his visit on his blog.I just hope that Fuad will be released soon and allowed to blog again. The wave of greater accountability, more transparency and allowing the citizenry of Saudi Arabia a higher voice in how our country is run is the ongoing legacy of King Abdullah’s reformist agenda. I hope that this will be allowed to continue. Arresting reformists and bloggers does not help the cause of reform in the Kingdom, and just serves to bring us back to those dreaded old days when everyone was too afraid to say in public what they really felt. I and many other Saudis like me had thought that those days were long gone. I hope we’re right.

by: Rasheed Abou-Alsamh

Posting Freedom

In a time great movements and patriotic symbols are appreciated in the hearts of citizens in every country… in my country there was another scenario.

Fouad alfarhanFouad al-Farhan is not a familiar name between Saudi public but with a keyboard, an internet connection and a honest spirit started a one man’s brave movement to scream his demands to stop corruption, class differentiation, terror and extremism from both sides of the non identified parties Islamic and liberal in a community and a government suffering from their unannounced war beside the interests of some greedy adulator individuals ready to sacrifice their motherland to gain power and money.

Fouad wasn’t a guy seeking fame and self- benefits, he wasn’t aiming for reaching the top of social order by rising on others backs.

I’m really confused why a man is captured for wanting the best for his country, people and the most important his children Khattab and Raghad?

raghadkhattab

For god’s sake I want a simple answer for the raging thoughts in my mind.

Why him? Why taking a man that his main opinions are for the good of his country?

Let me get it right and correct me please if I’m wrong.

Is asking for justice, free-speech, equalization and saving the next generation from extremism is a crime??? Is baring liars and hypocrites a sin in these days? Is it his everyday facing with the political and religious masked conspiracies around us??

Think deeply about all of that and think about a man’s right to love his country and family.

Post to freedom and wishing a better future for the next generations if you believed in Fouad’s rights to be a patriotic Saudi blogger.

Freedom junkie

Prominent Saudi blogger arrested

CPB has just alerted its readers that Saudi blogger Fouad Al Farhan has been arrested since the 11th of December.

Al Farhan

This article (Arabic) reads that his office in Jeddah was stormed into and he was arrested without any clarification. He is a known blogger who writes about justice, freedom, equality, et al. Apparently he has been harassed several times before, which once led to his blog being shut down. These past few weeks he has been very active, and his last post dates December 7th, where he expresses his admiration for a certain journalist.I briefly met Fouad in a conference in Morocco and he is really an admirable and respectful gentleman. He always seemed very careful, so I never expected something like this to happen to him! I just hope that his arrest will be brief. He doesn’t deserve this! Please spread the word and keep him in your prayers.

source: Mideast Youth

Saudi blogger Fouad Al-Farhan arrested

Filed under: Free Fouad — Free Fouad @ 10:21 am

Fouad Al-Farhan is one of a very few Saudi bloggers who chooses to blog under their own name, publishes his picture and challenges the establishment with utter bravery has been arrested in Saudi.This is not Fouad’s first altercation with the authorities there. His blog has been banned in Saudi in February 2007. He resumed writing in July 2007 against almost continuous harassment. It was reported that he has been led from his office in Jeddah without any reason given.

If the reason for his arrest is due to his writing, then this is obviously a gross violation of an individual’s basic human right to freedom of expression. I call on the Saudi authorities to respect their role in the world and immediately release Fouad Al-Farhan and call on them to guarantee his safety throughout his detention.

Hang in there Fouad, you have a lot of friends with you. I applaud your determination to speak your mind for the better of our community.


Posted in Other Blogs , Prisoners of Conscience , Human Rights  
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