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Saudi blogger Fouad Al-Farhan detained without Writ

Filed under: Law,World — Tags: , , , , — Paddy Wallbouncer @ 10:17 am 2008 January 7

If you live in Saudia Arabia, and you are going to say something controversial slightly off-beat about anything, you might be well advised to be wearing a futon poncho while you speak. In a report by CNN correspondent Mohammed Jamjoom explained that Fouad Al-Farhan was detained without reason for questioning by the Saudi government. Jamjoom reported that Saudi Arabian publishers have little to say about the arrest but English speaking publishers are calling for his release.

Could it be that those Arabic bloggers know Fouad is preaching a message of destruction and terrorism, criticizing the government for some sort of ineptitude, or is it that the rest of the blogging sphere in that part of the world is concerned that any support that they give might result in the same action against them?

The pen is of a little less danger to the flesh than a sword, but it’s might can still land you a cell in just about any country, if what you say borders on a call to some sort of illegal action. Is this what Fouad is responsible for? Will we ever know? The problem is the only people who could answer this question are 1.) those folk who are regular readers of his rants, or 2.) the government that has detained him for questioning.

More to the core of the controversy is that Fouad has been detained without a publicly stated reason. In common law countries like the United States, the United Kingdom etc., we expect that we will know for what reason we are being held or charged. This fundamental human right is called a Writ of Habeas Corpus, and Fouad seems to have been denied this. The Saudi Arabian legal system is based on the sharia, or Islamic law. It is worrisome to believe a religious structure would deny something similar to Habeas Corpus.

Undoubtedly his messages have been taken “off-the-air” so an impartial review would be difficult. A view from his readership would be tainted; and obtaining a straight answer from the government will always be suspect. Spy movies, the CIA, and Jason Bourne teach us to expect some undermining secret plot to cover the black-hand dealings of the worlds governments, especially those that are not popularly elected.

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1 Comment

  • Wow, this futon poncho sounds like some kind of bullet proof vest or anti-gummint authority self-defense barrier that a person can wear. Can you extol more on its virtues and possibilities, or just explain what it is in a way that a person such as myself can put my limited power of cognition around it and therefore actually be able to understand it?

    Peace out!

    Comment by WhoWantsToKnow — 2008 January 12 @ 11:14 pm

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