Jillian C. York

Jillian C. York is a writer and activist.

Free Ali Abdulemam

Ali and his laptop, Beirut 2009

I woke up this morning, like many of my friends and colleagues, to the news that our good friend, Ali Abdulemam, had been arrested, for allegedly “publishing false news” on BahrainOnline.org, the site he founded and edits (the site appears to have gone down sometime this morning).

This is not the first time Ali has been arrested; in fact, there’s a chance I wouldn’t have met him were it not for that first arrest.  As a number of others have pointed out, this latest arrest isn’t much of a surprise.  As my friend Nasser Weddady points out, “He is being targeted for merely being influential in a country that has not yet reconciled itself with its own people and their diversity.”

Ali is a father of three, a free thinker, a blogger, a combatant of censorship (he’s been a great supporter of one of the projects I work for, Herdict), and a friend.

It’s been particularly disappointing to see how many people are taking the government line on this one, amidst a period of sectarian arrests across Bahrain.  As others have pointed out, this is not only a crackdown on Internet freedom, rather, it is one event in a period of political repression.

Please support Ali.  Tweet.  Blog.  Follow updates at http://freeabdulemam.wordpress.com/ (to be updated soon).  We will not be silent.

5 Comments

  1. A Facebook page might be useful.

  2. Now we can waiting only…Bahraini government make big mistake with arest. Not only this time. Ali is my friend and i will make everything to make him free.

  3. So this Ali Abdulemam person got arrested – I must sound really dumb but not a single place I’ve visited on the web has been able to tell me why, I mean specifically.
    Like everybody is supposed to know already (before being told).
    Do you really care about the guy’s fate or is it just some sort of private party (where everyone is so pleased to have been invited they don’t care who’s out)?

  4. From what I’ve seen on different blogs and videos of the campaign, Ali Abdulemam was arrested for “allegedly spreading false news on his site Bahrain Online”, this is put a little into more context on the videos:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bO6H4KQfLaM&feature=player_embedded#!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZqFHw0xqkc&feature=player_embedded

    The Huffington Post also explains this arrest within the context of sectarian interests and a crackdown against Shi’a activists by the ruling Sunna minority:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sohrab-ahmari/bahrains-ugly-sectarian-c_b_710268.html

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