Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Arab regimes cracking down on activist bloggers

Almost one month has passed since security forces jailed Fouad al-Farhan, a 32 year-old Saudi blogger. “If it’s longer than three days, I want this message to reach everyone. I don’t want to be forgotten in jail,” Farhan had previously written to a friend in anticipation of his detention, according to Agence Global.

“How very telling that the Saudi authorities consider a blogger dangerous enough to be jailed,” Mona Eltahawy writes. “It is appalling that he is still detained without charge, but Fahran’s ordeal is the latest example of a growing phenomenon in the Arab world: one person + one blog = one very angry dictator.”

Citing a prominent example of the power of blogging, Eltahawy adds, “Last November, a most powerful triumph of blogging took place in Egypt, when two police officers were sentenced to three years in prison for sodomizing a bus driver with a stick. Egyptian authorities were cornered into prosecuting the officers after public outcry and international media coverage. What caused both? Two bloggers posted a video clip of the assault that one of the officers had filmed using a mobile phone. The clip then made it to YouTube and was used as evidence against the officers during the trial.”

For the full article, click here.


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