Saudi Arabia: Tweeting AlBajady's Hunger Strike

Saudi netizens joined forces last night to tweet about the plight of Mohammed Albajady, a 34-year-old Saudi activist who has been imprisoned for a year with no charges and no fair trial and who has been on hunger strike in protest against his detention for almost two weeks.

The online move follows last week's attempt by Bahraini netizens, who with the help of Arab and international Twitter users, were able to trend worldwide the hashtag #Hungry4BH in support of political detainees, most notably human rights defender and activist Abdulhadi Khawaja, who have been on hunger strike for more than three weeks.

Supporters shared the following information about Albajady:

On 20Mar'11 #Albjady set out from Qaseem to Riyadh to support the protest of families of the illegally detained
Though #Albjady had no relatives whatsoever among them, he went out to protest & tweeted in support of all detainees.
#Albjady tweeted during the protest that an officer asked if he had detained relative, he replied all were his family
On 21Mar'11 #Albjady was detained till now w/no charges or just trial, seen in MOI court blindfolded, ankles shackled
On 21Feb'12 #Albjady began #AlbjadyHungerStrike to protest his extrajudicial treatment/detention & hasn't eaten till today
Upon last arrest #Albjady was in solitary confinement for 4 months then regular prison, secret trial w/no lawyer access

Here are some of the tweets posted under the #AlbjadyHungers hashtag by activists, journalists, and Twitter users. Dima Khatib, head of Al Jazeera's Latin America office, wrote:

@Dima_Khatib: Mohammad Albjady defended the rights of detainees in Saudi prisons.. until he became one of them. Now he's on hunger strike

Saudi activist, Waleed Abu Al-Khair, who went on trial a few months ago, posted several tweets including this one [ar]:

من أوائل من دافعوا عن البجادي هو الغالي عبدالهادي خواجة إبان عمله في فرونت لاين فرّج الله عنهما ‎
@abualkhair: One of the early defenders of Albajady was detained Bahraini activist Abdulhadi Khawajah, when he was working for Frontline. May God help them both.

A young Saudi woman who goes with the name “Ana 3arabiya,” made the link between Albajady's case and other detainees:

@Ana3rabeya: Focusing on One for Online Campaign is Effective Attention-Grabbing Method. It is NOT Denial/Ignoring of others Imprisoned.

Anti-slavery Mauritanian activist Nasser Weddady participated with several tweets:

@weddady: #AlbjadyHungers marks another landmark in the internal struggle between an authoritarian geriatric ruling class & a youth reform current

Jaffar Alsaffar, a Saudi who mostly tweets about Qatif protests in the Eastern province of the Saudi Kingdom, noted:

@jsaffar: Rarely have I seen such unity from my fellow Saudis on a common cause .. and what a cause :’)

Khalid Ibrahim from the Gulf Center for Human Rights tweeted:

@khalidibrahim12: Freedom to Saudi Human R Defender Mohammed Albjady as he enters day13 of his Hunger Strike after a 1 year illegal detention.

Daughter of Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, Bahraini activist in exile Maryam Al-Khawaja tweeted in support:

@MARYAMALKHAWAJA: #albjadyhungers bcz it could b any1 of us, arbitrarily detained for speaking, protesting.. for existing.

And Tunisian Tounsia Hourra made the connection between Albajady and Khader Adnan, the Palestinian who went on hunger strike for several weeks [ar]:

من ساند خضر عدنان فلن ينسى محمد البجادي ,الاثنان اعتقلا دون تهم ودون محاكمة مع فارق بسيط واحد من المحتل والثاني من نظامه
@tounsiahourra: who supported Khader Adnan will not forget Mohammed Albajady; both were detained with no charges and with no trials. The only difference is that one detained by the occupier and the other by his regime.


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