I woke up around 5:30 this morning on the beeping of my iPhone which received a short message from the wife of my friend and fellow blogger Fouad al-Farhan telling me that Fouad has been released and that he is back home with his family now. That’s great news and this is just how I wanted to start my morning!
The good news made me less nervous and more relaxed about giving my presentation today. I’m doing some final revision now and should be standing on the stage in the main room at the Hilton Hall to speak in a couple of hours.
Someone at CITC has decided to go on a blocking spree this morning and went to ban access to the alfarhan.org, freefouad.com and Horyiat blog. After detaining Fouad Al Farhan for more than 100 days because he spoke his mind, now they are trying to stop people from reading his ideas. Pathetic.
The authorities are yet to reveal the reasons for the detention, and a spokesman for MOI told CNN Arabic last week there was on update on the case. The blockage is indicative of the mentality behind the detention and it also a sign that it will last even longer.
They are wrong if they think the blockage will stop people from getting information about this case and all violations on human rights here. They are wrong if they think the blockage will stop us from raising Fouad’s issue over and over again until he is free and back to his family and friends. We know how to get around your stupid censorship, and if you block two or three blogs we can launch hundreds of new blogs.
P.S. You can still follow the Free Fouad campaign here: English, Arabic.
Detained Saudi blogger Fouad al-Farhan has been allowed to make a phone call to his wife yesterday, FreeFouad.com reported. His wife said Fouad told her that he is in a good shape and his morale is high. He said he is hoping that authorities would soon allow others to visit him in jail. The website also said that Fouad would like to thank all those who supported him and his family during these tough times.
This is the post I wanted to use for my first participation in the Fouad’s Week event, but unfortunately I don’t have time to translate it now. So I will repost these quotes that I translated last month:
It is only the feebleminded who would use guns and violence to deliver his message.
We desperately need a time of calmness and reconciliation between the different leaderships in our society: Islamists, liberals and the government.
If you were a free citizen and think you have the right speak your mind on what is happening in our country and have something to say, be brave and say it in your real name.
In Saudi Arabia, there is no guarantee that you won’t be arrested because of your frankness and speaking your mind on your blog. But there is also no guarantee when you hide and write in internet forums using a pseudonym.
My advice to anyone that cares about common interest and is angry over what is happening in our country and keeps on writing at internet forums using a pseudonym is to join the blogging world and write using his real name to contribute positively in building the Saudi blogosphere.