So, Saudi authorities, ah, detained him. He's the first Saudi blogger detention.
I can see why the Saudi government picked him up. His blog's banner says that it's "بحثاً عن الحرية، الكرامة، العدالة، المساواة، الشورى، وباقي القيم الإسلامية المفقودة" - which seems to mean "In search of freedom, dignity, justice, equality, Shura, and the rest of the Islamic values lost." (Google Translate is a good tool.)
According to the "Guardian," "shura" means "public consultation." The Saudi government seems believe that al-Farhan "violated non-security regulations."
That may be true. Al-Farhan wrote openly about freedom, justice, and equality. That could make a monarch living in a pre-18th-century world feel very insecure.
Al-Farhan believes Saudi authorities were after him because he "wrote about political prisoners in Saudi Arabia."
Al-Farhan says that he was asked to sign an apology. His response: "An apology for what? Apologizing because I said the government is liar when it accused those people of supporting terrorism."
This is another time when I'm profoundly glad that I live in America. College types complain about the lack of intellectual freedom here, but I think they
- Don't like their assumptions questioned by the rabble
- Haven't realized that 'freedom to speak' is balanced by 'freedom to ignore'
- Bitterly resent situations where mere plebeian facts get in the way of their beliefs - the Strange Case of Professor Churchill and the Smallpox Plot comes to mind.
More at "Blogger Detained in Saudi."