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Free Ali

Demanding the release of Bahraini blogger Ali Abdulemam

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.



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