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Saudi Activist Released After Two Years in Prison

Since March 2011, prominent human rights activist Mohammed al-Bjadi, has been in prison after taking part in a peaceful protest in the absolute monarchy. Earlier today, August 6th, he called his family to inform them that a release order was issued for him. A few hours later, he was finally released. al-Bjadi is a co-founding member of the leading independent human rights organization in the country, Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA).

On March 20th, 2011, al-Bjadi participated in a protest in front of the Interior Ministry in the Saudi capital Riyadh. He was secretly tried before a state security court and he was sentenced to four years in prison for charges that include establishing an unlicensed association, and possessing illegal books. During the past two and half years, al-Bjadi was held in prisons in Riyadh and Jeddah and has undergone several hunger strikes to demand justice.

The news was received by overwhelming happiness throughout the Saudi Twittersphere. His followers rose quickly from 4,000 to around 22,000 [at the time of publishing this post] within a few hours.

His brother, Medad al-Bjadi, broke the news at 5.06am and tweeted [ar]:

#محمد البجادي. خبر عاجل تم الافراج عنه الحمدللله انا الان متوجه للتوقيع

@t3aun: Mohamad al-Bjadi..breaking news he was released, thanks God. I'm there to sign.

ACPRA member Abdullah al-Saidi explained:

اتصل #محمد_البجادي وأفاد بخروجه غداً بإذن الله تعالى وطلب من أشقائه الذهاب الى سجن الطرفية للتوقيع المصدر ابن عمه

@abdulllah1406: Mohammad al-Bjadi called and informed [his family] that he will be released tomorrow. He asked his brothers to go to the Terfiya prison to sign. Source: His cousin.

At 8.36am, his brother Medad tweeted:

تم خروجه النهائي الان الف مبروك للجميع

@t3aun: He is finally out now. Congratulations everyone.

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