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Bloggers Unite to Urge Release of Comrade

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Sure, bloggers may be a competitive lot – especially when they’re struggling to capture readers in a crowded niche. But there’s one thing they often band together on – freedom of speech and civil rights.

A collective of bloggers and activists have launched a blog to campaign for the release of Ali Abdulemam, a blogger and the editor of Bahrainonline.org (recently shut down) in Bahrain. Abdulemam was considered an icon among Arab bloggers for his courage in speaking the truth and pushing for government transparency and reform.

Unfortunately, Abdulemam was arrested last week for “publishing false news” and there’s speculation that he’s been tortured for the crime. After one week he is reported to be in solitary detention and has not been allowed to see his family or lawyer.

The blog (http://freeabdulemam.wordpress.com/) is a place to find news and aggregate posts from those pushing to free Abdulemam. Bloggers, from Morocco to Bulgaria have taken up the cause and have demanded that Bahrain authorities free him as soon as possible. They urge you to tweet about Ali and send a message to Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Khalid Al-Khalifa (@khalidalkhalifa) – but they request that you be polite and respectful to protect Abdulemam’s safety.

I, for one, am planning to join in and support his release.

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