Saudi Blogger Freed

In Saudi Arabia, blogging can be hazardous to your health:

Saudi Arabia’s most popular blogger was released Saturday after serving four months in prison without charge.

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.

In a telephone interview Saturday, Farhan said he was happy to be free and described his time behind bars as “a unique experience.” He said he had been “fairly treated” but would not comment on the specifics of his case.

“I will be blogging soon,” he said.

It’s so easy for us to blog and criticize the government here in America that we sometimes forget that millions of our fellow human beings do not enjoy this right. I hope that someday Al-Farhan will be viewed as a pioneer who helped bring basic human rights to the Kingdom.

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