maandag 2 februari 2009

Saudi Arabia Arrests Christian Blogger

Authorities in Saudi Arabia have detained a 28-year-old blogger, Hamoud Bin Saleh, for publicly writing about his conversion from Islam to Christianity on his website.

He was arrested for "his opinions and announcement at his blog that he converted from Islam to Christianity", according to a report by the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI).

The Saudi officials have now blocked Bin Saleh's blog, "Masihi Saudi", at http://christforsaudi.blogspot.com/

Bin Saleh's previous release from prison in November of 2009 coincided with the Saudi-initiated interfaith dialogue, held at the United Nations in New York, suggesting that his release came only because his arrest might have "tarnished its image" and "exposed the Saudi government's false allegations."

Immediately following the conference, the report indicated that Saudi officials chose to arrest Bin Saleh "because the entire world is busy following up on the aggression on Gaza, and the Saudi authorities may seize the chance to make an example with nobody watching."

Bin Saleh's case is especially urgent in that we know that this is not the first time that Saudi converts from Islam to Christianity have suffered terrible mistreatment:

In August of 2008, a female convert from Islam to Christianity was burned to death by her father. Her father was a member of the mutaween (Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice), an arm of the government that enforces religious purity and is the government's face of persecution to Christians in Saudi Arabia. She had also disclosed her faith on a website.

Please call the Saudi Arabian embassy in your country and ask the officials at the embassies to release him from prison.

Saudi Arabian embassies:

India:

Saudi Arabia Embassy, India

2, Paschimi Marg, Vasant Vihar

110057

New Delhi

Phone:
+91-11-26144102
+91-11-26144073
+91-11-26144083

Fax:
+91-11-26144244
+91-11-26144201

USA:

(202) 342-3800
(202) 337-4084
Info@saudiembassy.net

UK:

(0)2079173000
ukemb@mofa.gov.sa

Canada:
(613)237-4100
(613)237-0567

Australia
(o2) 6250 7000
(02) 6282 8911

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