Recent social media news in the Middle East involves the arrest of two bloggers as well as one human rights activist in Saudi Arabia. The arrests follow new stricter free speech laws issued by King Abdullah bin Abd al-’Aziz on April 29.
Fadhil Makki al-Manasif, the human rights activist, was arrested on May 1 for participating in demonstrations against the government. Al-Manasif also documented cases of human rights violations. More than 20 other demonstrators were arrested by Saudi authorities over the past week.
Bloggers Mustafa al-Badr Al Mubarak and Husain Kazim al-Hashim were arrested for violating the new laws by participating in and blogging about these peaceful protests.
A series of bans starting in 2011 have increasingly worked towards curtailing the Saudi subject’s free speech and expression. In March, Prince Nayef bin Abd al-’Aziz and the Council of Senior Religious Scholars reiterated the outlawing of demonstrations.