Ali Abdulemam is a blogger. He has blogged for Global Voices Advocacy and elsewhere. He created, managed and maintained www.bahrainonline.org (from Global Voices). He is an advocate of free speech and human rights.
He is also unlucky enough to live in Bahrain. Unlucky because Bahrain has decided that Abdulemam should not be allowed to blog. Specifically, the Bahrain government is today (Thursday 28th October) putting Abdulemam on trial for:
‘diffusing fabricated and malicious news on Bahrain’s internal situation to spread rumours and subvert the Kingdom’s security and stability’ (fromBahrain News Agency).
This is the same ‘business friendly’ Bahrain that appeared to be making an effort to open up over the last decade and allow greater freedom of speech.
Abdulemam’s case has been written about in The Atlantic (‘In Bahrain, a vital moment for liberal Arab grassroots‘), and the Wall Street Journal (‘The Real Bahrain‘). In the WSJ Joshua Colangelo-Bryan writes that Abdulemam has not been allowed to speak to lawyers and, when his family tried to visit him they were told there was no record of his arrest. After the intervention of Human Rights Watch Abdulemam’s family were subsequently allowed to visit him, with security personnel present.
The Wall Street Journal and Al Jazeera set Abdulemam’s arrest and trial in the wider context of a crackdown on dissent within Bahrain.
I’m grateful to Adrian Monck for alerting me to Abdulemam’s case and trial today.