America's very very close friends in the Saudi government arrested and detained a young blogger named Fouad Farhan, shut down his site, detained him for four months without charges, and finally released him on Saturday. Thankfully, they have a very very good explanation for all that: "'We have ... what we call electronic crimes—any kind of violation related to computer and technology and so on,' Interior Ministry spokesman Gen. Mansour Al Turki told the Monitor when asked why Fouad Farhan had been jailed. [...]'And I believe his main case was like violating personal rights.... Like when I go for example on the Internet or I go on any electronic media and I use your name and your personality and I criticize ... or offend you without being able to introduce evidence of what I'm saying.'" So. He was arrested for electronic crimes. Farhan could still be prosecuted for his "electronic crimes" despite the release. Farhan's worst electronic crime against the government?
According to a report in The Washington Post, he also had posted on his blog a list of what he termed his 10 least favorite Saudi leaders in early December, shortly before his arrest. The list included a prince, a cabinet minister, a religious cleric, a mayor, and the head of the judiciary.
Jailed for Digg-bait! Look out, Cracked!
A fellow freedom-loving Saudi blogger says, "I hope it's the last time any blogger will be in any jail." Man. We'd love to get behind that sentiment but seriously, you guys don't know Perez. [CSM]