On Societal Support

Saudi Poet and former columnist in Al-Bilad Newspaper was detained on 12 February 2012 after King Abdullah ordered for his arrest “for crossing red lines and denigrating religious beliefs in God and His Prophet”.

We’ve all heard the story of Hamza Kashkari, who after publishing 3 tweets on the day of the Prophet Mohammed’s birth, describing his unique relationship to the Prophet, was faced by threats and assaults to his family and house in Jeddah. He fled the Kingdom to Malaysia, who captured him and extradited him back to the Kingdom where he has been detained for almost a year now without trial.

A group of human rights activists have set up a website, with F.A.Q.’s in Arabic about their campaign to promote the right of freedom of speech for Hamza and other “Opinion Prisoners”, some of whom have been held captive by authorities for years without trial.

Whilst there were many people who were offended by the tweets Hamza had published, and whilst some of them still think he had done wrong, I can’t think why anyone in this world would think it fair that Hamza and the others have not been taken into trial, nor has there been official charges against them all this time.

He is a young man, who at 23, fought for many people’s rights and freedoms through his poetry and articles. Yet, now, a year later after his detainment, few people care for his own rights and freedoms.

Let’s prove that humanity is still somewhat intact, and society can indeed support its people and care that even those we may disagree with, we will always advocate their own rights and freedoms as we do our own.

I wish for Hamza and other innocent prisoners to be freed, guaranteed their rights and have the chance to live a life of freedom and support.


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