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Free Ali

Demanding the release of Bahraini blogger Ali Abdulemam

SEP 2010 UPDATE: Ali arrested one more time

Sunday, September 05, 2010
After being released five years ago, our friend, blogger and online activist Ali Abdulemam has been arrested by the Bahraini authorities once again. He was arrested last night after he received a phone call summoning him to the National Security Agency.

According to the news release by the Bahraini government's media outlet, Ali was accused of "spreading false news" on the BahrainOnline.org discussion forum.

His arrest coincides with a severe government crackdown on opposition activists in recent weeks, and accusations of a supposed "terror network" involving several political and human rights activists.

His arrest also coincides with a recent government crackdown on websites and online discussion forums.

Browse through the previous posts in this blog to learn about Ali's previous detention in 2005.

For more up-to-date details about his current detention, check in at:


The Wall Street Journal

Thursday, May 12, 2005
From Chan'ad :

Royal Flush: After High Hopes, Democracy Project In Bahrain Falters --- Gulf Kingdom Reverses Course As Calls for Change Swell;

MANAMA, Bahrain -- Ali Abdulemam, a young Islamic activist and founder of a popular Arabic-language Web site, made a bold decision three years ago. He started using his real name online.

He shed his pseudonym after a spurt of political change in this Gulf kingdom touted by President Bush as a model for the Arab world. The government emptied prisons of political prisoners, held elections and let hundreds return from exile abroad. "I believed you could speak and not go to jail," says the 27-year-old computer engineer, who combines his Web work with a day job at an American technology-consulting company.

In late February, amid boisterous debate about democracy following elections in Iraq, Mr. Abdulemam was thrown in prison, accused of fomenting hatred of the government and other charges.

Read the entire article

Look Mum, no handcuffs!

Monday, March 14, 2005
From Chan'ad:

The BahrainOnline trio, free at last. From left to right: Syed Mohammed Al-Mousawi, Hussain Yousif, Ali Abdulemam.

Read the entire post


From Bahrania:
Free at last, the Bahrainonline crew have been released WITHOUT bail!

What a relief.

I have a feeling its not the last we'll here from these three. The charges haven't been dropped and the Solidarity Committee will continue its protests till the case is closed. A statistic: the officers had gathered around 700 thousand articles from BahrainOnline.org, of which 10 break the law and NOT written by any of the three. I look forward to their account of events.

Read the entire post

Freedom uncompromised

Sunday, March 13, 2005
From Bahrania:
Good news is they have been moved to Dry Dock prison where prison standards are higher than Hoora police station. Following the fulfillment of this demand, they quit the hunger strike they started yesterday.

What will the government gain from these arrests? Your guess is as good as mine. Clearly, the defiance shown from the three and their supporters indicates that Bahrainonline will NOT be closed down. Like someone said to me, they can start another 10 Bahrainonline's within a day if need be. What price they are made to pay for this if convicted in a 'court of law' is another issue, today they had a choice, tomorrow after a verdict is announced they probably will not.

Read the entire post

Trio refuses bail

From Chan'ad Bahraini:

The Public Prosecutor has offered the BahrainOnline detainees (Ali, Hussain and Mohammed) to be released on bail for BD1,000 (US$2,650) while the case against them continues. The Trio have however refused the offer because their freedom would still be at the mercy of the Public Prosecution, who could re-arrest them later at its will. Instead the Trio have demanded their release without any conditions, and have opted to remain in prison until then.

Read the entire post

Free Ali - Protest from your living room

From Ethnically Incorrect:

Just following Desert Island Boy's lead. I don't have one orange article of clothing, so I manipped this together. Too much orange?

Read the entire post

The Revolution will be Broadcast from My Living Room

From Desert Island Boy:
Free_ali_2 Free_speech_1
The Public Prosecutor in Bahrain are due to announce their decision regarding Ali Abdulemam, Hussain Yousif and Mohammed Mousawi on Sunday March 13. A protest is scheduled in front of the Public Prosecutors Office for 4pm. Since we can't be in Manama for the festivities, let's do our part for the cause.

Read the entire post

The movement rolls on

Saturday, March 12, 2005
From Chan'ad:
The Public Prosecutor is due to announce tomorrow (Sunday) whether the detained BahrainOnline trio (Ali, Hussain, Mohammed) will be released, charged or detained for another 45 days for "further investigation". However, it seems like no one is expecting them to be released, and so a plan of action for the coming days has already been announced

Read the entire post

Blogger and two technicians detained

From The Committee to Protect Journalists:
The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the prolonged detention of an Internet writer, also known as a Web logger, or blogger, and two technicians working with him.

According to sources in Bahrain, prosecutors in the capital, Manama, summoned Ali Abdel Imam on February 27 and detained him. Abdel Imam is the founder and editor of www.bahrainonline.com, which features a blog with commentary about Bahraini news, as well as a discussion forum. Two technicians who worked on the site with Abdel Imam, Mohamed al-Musawi and Hussein Yousef, were arrested on March 1.

Read the entire post

Bahrainis protest arrest of activists

From Aljazeera.net:
A protest has been staged briefly outside a police station in Manama, demanding the release of three Bahrainis detained for their links to a banned website.

A brother of one those detained said he and his fellow demonstrators planned to hold protests once a week before the police station in the capital until the trio are released.

Read the entire article.

Intimidation nation

Thursday, March 10, 2005
From Chan'ad:

Before the protest even began, 4 people were arrested. For what? No one knows. Half of Exhibition Avenue was blocked off by the police so that passers-by would not be able to see what's going on. The presiding officer demanded that the protest be called off but the organizers refused. So the goon patrol, all dressed up with helmets, shields and batons were dispatched to intimidate the crowd. There must have been 100 goons (with more waiting further back), and about 200 protesters at the time. The goons marched towards the protesters until they were face to face, with barely a metre between the two rows.

Read the entire post

Where do u think ur goin?

From Bahrania:
Demonstrations in Bahrain are just no fun if some arrests arn't thrown in with a pinch of tear gas for added spice. The extent of the police presence in today's protest demanding the release of the three Bahrainonline website moderators however was unprecedented. The security forces literally formed a wall face-to-face with the protestors that could have led to provocation and confrontation.

Read the entire post

Eltahawy on the Arab Media

Asharq Al-Awsat columnist Mona Eltahawy mentioned the BahrainOnline arrests, while speaking about bloggers in the Middle East at a National Press Club forum in Washington DC entitled the Power and Influence of the Arab Media. This was broadcast on C-Span. Click this link to watch the video (real player), and skip to the 50th minute. She has some interesting observations (even though they may be obvious to those of us in the blogging business). (Via: From Cairo, With Love)
Read the entire post

Free Ali Protest

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

The Solidarity Committee for Detainees of Conscience in support of Abdulemam, Yousif and Mosawi have organised a demonstration:

Outside Hoora Police Station
10th March 2005

Bystander, Activist or Leader?

From Bahrania:
Alwasat reported today that the 3 detained website moderators are due to appear before the General Prosecutor this Sunday where they will be either officially charged, detained for longer (maybe another 45 days) or released.

Meanwhile, it seems their incarceration isnt a very pleasant experience. Ok no one expects a 5 star hospitality service, this isn't the UK where you can play snooker all day or do a distance-learning course and leave prison with a PhD at taxpayers expense. No this is Bahrain, where you're not even allowed pen and paper, and cockroaches are man's best friend.

Read the entire post