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Website blocked, editor detained over misprint

(ANHRI/IFEX) - Cairo, 7 October 2010 - The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) is deeply disturbed by the news that the Saudi authorities blocked the website of "al-We'aam" newspaper and arrested its editor, Turki al-Ruki, over a misprint that was promptly corrected.

A report stating that the kingdom welcomes the nomination of outgoing Prime Minister Nuri al-Malki was published on the newspaper's site on 3 October. It incorrectly referred to the Saudi News Agency (SNA). The misprint was corrected shortly afterwards to the Iraqi News Agency (INA).

Although the news was refuted by a Saudi official, the authorities blocked access to the paper's website and to date have not released al-Ruki.

ANHRI said, "It is rather cruel to block a newspaper site and detain the editor over a misprint that was corrected. Misprints happen every day in all newspapers and are readily corrected."

ANHRI condemned the authorities' reaction and expressed concern over the detrimental effect it could have on press freedom in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region. ANHRI called on the Saudi authorities to release al-Ruki immediately and lift the unfair suspension of the "al-We'aam" website, a credible and popular newspaper that has thousands of readers in and out of Saudi Arabia.

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