Apparently a Bahraini blogger has been arrested because of his activities as a moderator on a very popular forum, as Bahrania reports. Apparently the reason for the arrest is "defaming the royalty." It is too early to tell what is happening, so we'll have to wait and see, but hopefully he'll be released very soon.
Although he is not primarily a blogger, and the reason for his arrest is the very popular forum he helped found, it does bring to question the status of bloggers in Bahrain. So what are bloggers going to do? Will you just shut up? Maybe continue to lambast parliament, liberals, or wahhabis but carefully tiptoe around the thorny issue of the government? How about organizing an online petition or contacting the "Committe to Protect Online Bloggers"? How about upping the anti and organizing a united online day where every forum and blog posts a severely critical article of the government and see how they react?
Although we are no where as near as big a fish to fry as Ali Abdul Emam, whose site gets 80,000 hits a day, that could easily be one of us in jail in the future. Most probably all of us started a blog thinking it's a cool way to express oneself and spend his time, while also making a few friends along the way. What if, however, a smelly illiterate policeman, who has no second thoughts about using force, shows up one day at your house and threatens to take you or your sister away?
Time is ticking... Whatcha gonna do?
update: I don't know how accurate this is, but apparently the five charges levied against Ali AbdulEmam are:
1- المساس بالذات الملكية 2- التحريض على كراهية النظام 3- نشر أخبار تزعزع الأمن 4- مخالفة قانون النشر 5- مخالفة قانون الإتصالات
Which (roughly) translate to:
1-Abusing the royal entity 2-Instigating hatred to the regime 3- Spreading news that endangers security 4-Violating the Publishing Laws 5-Violating the Telecommunications Law