NSHR Asks CITC to Unblock Website

Saudi Arabia’s Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC), which recently took over the responsibility of internet filtering from the much-loathed ISU of KACST, blocked a website called Menber al-Hewar wa al-Ebda’a (the name can be translated to Forum of Dialogue and Creativity).

The man behind this website is Saudi poet Ali al-Dumaini, one of three so-called “Constitutional Reformists” who were jailed and later pardoned by King Abdullah soon after he ascended the throne. Following the blockage, al-Dumaini issued a statement expressing his disappointment at the approach the government have taken when dealing with forums of peaceful expression.

In a country like this, blocking a website is hardly big news, so what makes this particular case different? The answer is because it is the first time that the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) get involved demanding unblocking the website. According to al-Riyadh daily, NSHR have contacted CITC and asked them to unblock the website. NSHR said this blockage violates the press law as well as Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

It is very interesting to see NSHR weigh in and make such a bold statement like this one. They have impressed many observers earlier this year when they published their first report on the state of human rights in the Kingdom, but I honestly did not expect them to move far beyond that.

However, their involvement in this case raises some interesting questions. Are they going to ask CITC to unblock other websites such as Elaph, al-Sahat and Rasid, to mention a few examples? Moreover, are they going to move to left the ban on some writers such as Khalid al-Dakhil and Iman al-Qahtani? I really doubt it, but I have to admit that what they did here is a step in the right direction.

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20 thoughts on “NSHR Asks CITC to Unblock Website

  1. Well, in Saudi we’re going through a very interesting stage with all of its contradictions. I believe it’s a very natural phase which (finally) occurred after a long time of oppression, things are changing gradually with more and more awareness coming from the public and from the government. Such actions would never have happened in the past, especially attempts to defeat authority in any circumstance. Therefore, it is considered to be quite of a step!! I’m proud to see those improvements even though they’re taking more time than I thought, I mean with a society like ours, you know what I mean!
    I read your blog infrequently and I enjoy the development I see in your style of writing, growth and the direction you commit to. Keep up the good work and all the luck.

  2. الأخوة المدونون السعوديون الكرام

    لأننا في قارب واحد

    ولأن حريتنا هي حريتكم

    ولأن معركتنا هي معركتكم

    ولأن قضيتنا هي قضيتكم

    فإننا نعلن تضامننا الكامل مع قضية إعتصام نساء بريدة الباسلات


    وجاري التواصل مع باقي المدونات المصرية لنشر قضيتكم

    إن هذا الحدث يملي على ضمائرنا

    أن نقف صفاً واحداً معكم حتى يخرج هؤلاء الشرفاء الى نسيم الحرية

    نخبركم من مصر أن ردود الافعال تتوالى والمدونين المصريين الداعمين لقضيتكم في إزدياد

    وسوف يتم طرح القضية للتدوال في عدة مجمعات تدوينية مصرية قريباً

    لذا أرجو منكم سرعة القيام بنشر المدونة والتصاميم في اوساط المدونات السعودية

    بأقصى سرعة

    هذه فرصتكم في غرس بذرة الحرية بدعم قضية إعتصام نساء بريدة

    فلا تقتلوها بصمتكم

    تحياتي ونحن متواجدون دائماً لدعمكم

    الحرية لشرفاء بريدة

    الحرية لكل الشعوب العربية


    مصطفى الحسيني

    صاحب البوابة

  3. Hi Ahmed,

    I just tried Al-Dumaini’s website and it’s unblocked! I think the CITC must have listened to the request from the NSHR’s request to unblock it.
    I agree with you that many banned Saudi writers will probably not have their bans lifted anytime soon.

  4. Salam, really this is a interresting NEWS, like u told, a lot of websites are blocked in KSA as I know and others countries like CHINA, but I never hear that someone asked the human rights in theses cases… The fact is that the Governants don´t need a reason to answer us, they do what they understand be RIGHT for they PEOPLE.. the problem is that the PEOPLE are like childrem, they don´t ask for rights they just acept and follow… For me, whem all people that think in same way don´t fight for what they want… we will continuing following our governants “like victims”, it doesnt matther íf are a democracy or not, it´s a thing for our daily life, in any country.

  5. الحمد لله على نعمة الاسلام الحمد لله اننا عندنا نبى اخر اﻻنبياء وكتاب القران الحمد على كل النعم نحن امة اﻻسلام باقون ورقم انف الحاقدين والشباب فى بلادنا عرفو عدوهم الخارجى ونسال الله ان يهزم من ارادهم بسوء

  6. لا بد للحق ان ينتصر والباطل ينخذل والناس هنا مستعبدون وهم ليسو سعوديين لان هذا الاسم خطأ وهم اسم عائله ممقوته على اهل مصر ملاحظة ذلك فى وسائل اعلامهم ومدوناتهم

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