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Cairo, 14 Jan 2008

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information said today the Saudi authorities yesterday, Thursday, detained Hamoud Bin Saleh and blocked his blog ” Masihi Saudi – http://christforsaudi.blogspot.com” due to his opinions and announcement at his blog that he converted from Islam to Christianity.

Based on information obtained by ANHRI, the Saudi authorities jailed the young blogger at the infamous Eleisha political prison in Riyadh; a prison which in 2004 witnessed the arrest of the reformists Matrouk el Falih, Ali el Domini and Eissa al Hamed.

The 28-year-old alumni of the al Yarmouk University in Jordan has been arrested twice before; for nine months in 2004 and last Nov. Saudi Arabia, which decided to sponsor an interfaith dialog conference in New York last Nov. and because his arrest may tarnish its image and expose the Saudi government’s false allegations, has to set him free. That conference was attended by representatives of 80 countries.

But the blogger re-arrest, after the conference wrapped up, raised fears upon his life because the entire world is busy following up the aggression on Gaza and the Saudi authorities may seize the chance to make him an example with nobody watching.

ANHRI said the young man committed no crime and the only thing he has done is exercising his normal right to express his opinions and beliefs, which must not be violated under whatever pretext.

ANHRI condemns Saleh’s arrest and holds the Saudi government fully responsible for his safety. It also demands his immediate release and calls on the Saudi government to meet its commitments and the Saudi king’s statements about the respect of freedom of expression and religious tolerance.

Blog: Sauidi Masihi
http://christforsaudi.blogspot.com