Fouad al-Farhan, the Saudi blogger jailed last year by authorities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, apparently because of what he was blogging about has been released from prison.
In a story published April 27 the Washington Post reported:
Fouad al-Farhan, 33, was detained Dec. 10 after authorities warned him about his online support of an activist group. At the time of his arrest, the Interior Ministry said only that his violations were not related to state security.
Farhan had used his blog to criticize corruption and call for political reform in Saudi Arabia, an absolute monarchy…
Saudi Arabia restricts press and speech freedoms and does not allow political parties, civil rights groups or public gatherings. But since King Abdullah took the throne in 2005, official tolerance of criticism and debate has grown…
Unlike most of the thousands of men and women who blog in the kingdom, Farhan uses his real name online.
Farhan’s arrest had frightened Saudi bloggers but also made them aware of their power, said blogger Ahmed al-Omran.
“The arrest was scary and intimidating to bloggers but also empowering. It made bloggers know that their blogs are influential, and now they feel more of a responsibility and take their blogs more seriously,” said Omran, 23, who blogs under the name Saudi Jeans.
Power to the bloggers!