Ali Abdulemam, the blogger and system operator of the banned BahrainOnline.org has been summoned to appear before the National Security accused of allowing his forum to broadcast wrong and malicious information.
Abdulemam joins tens, possibly hundreds, more apprehended Bahrainis all accused or charged with some malicious intent against the ruling regime. According to most operating human rights organisations in the country, they have had their rights violated and some even went as far as accusing the security services of applying systemic torture on some of those incarcerated.
I fear that this latest development further degrades the country’s reputation and gives some credence to the charges of it being an enemy of freedom of expression and that of human rights too.
I hope that Abdulemam gets released untouched soon. Like any other forum operator and blogger, he has no real control over his guests’ contributions. Sites like those offered by Abdulemam should be supported and allowed to freely operate as they serve an extremely important function in providing a place for citizens and others to voice their opinions. BahrainOnline.org is known to be a central venue for this, so much so that it is said that even ministers tend to log in first thing in the morning to find out what’s happening in the country rather than read the papers.
I would ask for Ali Abdulemam to be immediately released. As far as I could deduce, he has not done anything wrong.
Maybe it’s time to resurrect the Free Ali site and prepare a few more for other Bahraini bloggers and forum sysops?
Update 100906@1858: This statement was released on the Bahrain News Agency‘s website in connection with his arrest earlier:
STATEMENT ON ARREST OF ALI ABDULEMAM
Manama Sep 05 (BNA) Following reports of the arrest of Ali Abdulemam, referred to as a blogger, Bahrain’s Ministry of the Interior released the following statement:
“Ali Abdulemam was arrested on Saturday 4th September as part of the ongoing investigation into the terrorist network accused of planning and executing a campaign of violence, intimidation and subversion in Bahrain. As part of this investigation compelling evidence emerged connecting Ali Abdulemam directly to this network. “Any assumption that Mr.Abdulemam has been arrested purely on the basis of any political views he may hold is entirely inaccurate and is connected solely to evidence of his involvement with senior members of the terrorist network. “On Saturday 4th September, Bahrain’s National Security Agency requested that Mr Abdulemam come in for interview. Following this request, Mr Abdulemam attempted to flee the country and was arrested at Bahrain International Airport under the Protection of the Community Against Terrorism Act 2006 and has been presented to the Director of Public Prosecution. “At present authorities are continuing to investigate the full extent of Mr Abdulemam’s involvement in the terrorist plot and his detention will continue to be fully in-line with international standards as well as in strict adherence to Bahraini law.” A H N BNA 1742 GMT 2010/09/05