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January 10, 2008 - Updated on January 20, 2016

"Your Majesty, please release Ahmad Fouad Al-Fahran"


Reporters Without Borders and the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (HRinfo) wrote today to the King of Saudi Arabia, Abdallah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, to request the release of blogger Ahmad Fouad al-Farhan, who has been held for the past month. Sign the petition to ask for his release
Reporters Without Borders and the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (HRinfo) wrote today to the King of Saudi Arabia, Abdallah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, to request the release of blogger Ahmad Fouad al-Farhan, who has been held for the past month. Letter sent on 10 January to the King of Saudi Arabia, Abdallah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, by Reporters Without Borders General-Secretary Robert Ménard and HRinfo Executive-Director Gamal Eid. “Your Majesty, Reporters Without Borders, an international press freedom organisation, and the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, HRinfo, would like to share with you their concern about the case of Ahmad Fouad Al-Farhan, a blogger who has been held by your Ministry of Interior since 10 December. HRinfo issued a statement calling on the Saudi government to immediately release Mr. Farhan and to explain the reasons for his arbitrary detention. However, there has been no response from your government and our two organisations would like to know the reason for your government's silence on this matter. US assistant secretary of state Sean McCormack raised this issue with your government during a visit to your Kingdom on 3 January. We recommend transparency as the best response and we hope for a positive evolution in this case, which has raised a considerable stir in the international blogosphere and in the media. An online protest staged by prominent organisations on 6 January was a great success and showed the level of blogosphere support for Mr. Farhan. Articles are being posted every day about his plight. It would be a shame if the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's image were to be marred by this arbitrary detention, in which there are no grounds for any charges, as the Ministry of Interior's spokesman, Gen. Mansour Al-Turki, implicitly acknowledged when he said he had no additional information about the reasons for Mr. Farhan's arrest. Access to more than 400,000 websites hosted in Saudi Arabia and abroad is currently blocked in the Kingdom, including websites specialising in human rights and civil liberties. Censorship is visible in Saudi Arabia and is openly defended in the name of the protection of Islamic moral obligations. We urge you to order Mr. Farhan's immediate and unconditional release and to reiterate the undertakings you have given on the reforms initiated in the Kingdom, which is still considered to be one of the most repressive countries as regards Internet filtering policies. His release would be seen as evidence of your will to improve respect for free expression. We trust you will give our appeal your careful consideration.” More information - from Reporters without borders - from his friends - more vidéos - sign the petition to ask for his release