A year after the planned “Day of Rage” demonstration in Riyadh, at least six men are languishing in jail for their involvement in the event, Amnesty International said last friday in a new briefing paper.
The only man to talk to the press on the “Day of Rage” in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on 11 March 2011, is in prison for a year now. Amnesty International considers him to be a prisoner of conscience, held solely for peacefully exercising his rights to freedom of expression and assembly.
Khaled al-Johani, a 40-year-old teacher, was arrested by security forces in Riyadh on 11 March 2011 and taken into detention minutes after he did an interview with BBC Arabic, during which he spoke about the lack of freedoms in Saudi Arabia. He was apparently one of only five protesters who reached the location of the planned demonstration due to the heavy security presence on the day.
Khaled al-Johani spoke to the world press, therefore he is in prison.
We showed many campaigns about the power of the word before. It is still that cliche what counts: “The pen is mightier than the sword”.
Amnesty International Netherlands