When a Day of Rage was called for in Saudi Arabia back on March 11, 2011, only a handful of protesters challenged the heavy police presence and protested. Khaled Al Johani was the only one of those on tape.
Al Johani spoke to a group of journalists who were brought by a Ministry of Culture and Information bus to the place where the protest was planned to happen and was arrested on the same day of the interview when he returned to his house. He was held until today, when Khaled's brother tweeted at 2.50pm [ar]:
:الحمد لله الذي بنعمته تتم الصالحات تم خروج اخي خالد الجهني ٤٨ ساعة وابشركم الامور طيبة خرج معه في نفس الوقت كم شخص واسأل الله الفرج للجميع
Thanks God! My brother Khaled Al Johani was released for 48 hours. Everything is alright and several others were released with him….
Saudi journalist Turki Alabdullhai tweeted:
: ابتسامتك هي الأمل الذي أراه في بلدي ، خالد أنت ما أنت إلا أيقونة عرت الظلم ، كم بودي يا خالد أن ترى ما كتب عنك وما سيكتب
Khaled, your smile symbolizes hope in this country. Khaled, you are the icon that revealed injustice. Khaled, all what I want is for you to read what was written and what will be written about you
Khaled Al Johani immediately after his release today. Photograph shared by his brother @I98A on Twitter
Saudi medical doctor Waleed Al Majid tweeted:
: #خالد_الجهني جزيل الشكر لأنك بددت دعوى أن الدولة لاتعتقل تعسفا إلا الإرهابيين. في عالم عادل الفاسد والمنافق هم من يجدر بهم أن يكونوا مكانك.
Thanks a lot, Khaled Al Johani, for disproving once and for all that authorities only arbitrarily arrest terrorists. In a just world, the corrupt and hypocrites would be in your place.
@iNoor93 expressed her joy by tweeting:
: ابتسامة #خالد_الجهني : Day = made!
Khaled al-Johani's smile: Day = made!
And Saudi writer Mortada Al Atiya tweeted:
: #خالد_الجهني ،،، أتبتسم فرحاً بخروجك؟ أم تبتسم فخراً بشجاعتك؟ أم تبتسم لتخفي آلامك؟ أم تبتسم لتتحدى من اعتقلك؟ أم تبتسم لتحرج من خذلوك؟
Khaled Al Johani: Are you smiling because you are happy that you were released? Or because you are proud of your braveness? Or to hide your pain? Or to challenge those who arrested you? Or to embarrass those who let you down?
Saudi netizens have kept Al Johani's memory alive on Twitter.