Saudi Arabia: Poverty video vloggers released
By Mona Kareem in Global Voices
Around two weeks ago, Saudi Arabia arrested three young video bloggers Firas Buqna, Hussam Al-Darwish and Khaled Al-Rasheed for producing an episode of their show Malub Alena about poverty in one of Riyadh’s areas.
The name of the show can be translated into We Are Being Fooled and this episode was actually their fourth episode after previous shows on youth and police corruption. Before the arrests, the show was having a good number of views but in few days after their arrests, it was viewed for more than 600,000 times.
The show’s title also turned into a Twitter hashtag #Mal3ob3lena, where Saudis condemned the arrests of those three young men and also expressed their sorrow against the oppression of free speech in the kingdom. This came hand in hand with the use of another hashtag that has been alive for months #e3teqal (translated to: Arrest) where people post updates and discuss the issue of thousands of Saudi detainees, many of whom arrested for no valid reasons and are being denied the right to fair trials.
Saudi blogger Haneen wrote a post [ar] about what those three young vloggers have done:
Today is the 17th of October which is the international day to fight poverty. At the same day, Hossam and Firas, producers of Malub Alena show, were called for interrogation because of their YouTube show which coincidentally discussed the issue of poverty. Firas walked around Jaradiya neighborhood in Riyadh and visited the same places that King Abdullah went to in 2002 only to find that poverty there is still painful and the status didn’t change over the past 10 years.