Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 January 2018, 09:04 GMT

Annual Prison Census 2013 - Saudi Arabia

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date 18 December 2013
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Annual Prison Census 2013 - Saudi Arabia, 18 December 2013, available at: [accessed 24 January 2018]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Journalists in prison as of December 1, 2013

Saudi Arabia: 2

Habib Ali al-Maatiq, Al-Fajr Cultural Network
Imprisoned: February 22, 2012

Hussein Malik al-Salam, Al-Fajr Cultural Network
Imprisoned: February 23, 2012

Security forces arrested al-Maatiq and al-Salam, managers of the critical news website Al-Fajr Cultural Network, in the city of Jubail in connection with the site's coverage of pro-reform protests in Eastern Province, news outlets reported. The website posts videos from Shia leaders including Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Hezbollah's Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, as well as Saudi sheikhs.

Al-Maatiq and al-Salam were being tried in the Specialized Criminal Court in Riyadh as of late 2013, local news reports said. The government had not disclosed any charges against them. CPJ viewed a purported court indictment that said the pair was charged under Article 6 of the Anti-Cyber Crime Law, which prohibits the production, storage, and transmission of material on information networks that disturbs public order, but the veracity of the document could not be confirmed. According to the document, the indictment includes a teacher, Reda al-Baharna, and an engineer, Montazer al-Aqili, who are accused of contributing to Al-Fajr and social media outlets.

The kingdom has obstructed coverage of Eastern Province protests, which call for political reforms and greater rights for the country's Shia minority, CPJ research shows. No international or local journalists had been allowed to enter the province, and in the absence of independent reporting, coverage of the unrest was carried out by websites such as Al-Fajr Cultural Network.

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