Around two weeks ago, Saudi Arabia arrested three young video bloggers Firas Buqna, Hussam Al-Darwish and Khaled Al-Rasheed for producing an episode of their show Malub Alena about poverty in one of Riyadh's areas. The name of the show can be translated into We Are Being Fooled and this episode was actually their fourth episode after previous shows on youth and police corruption. Before the arrests, the show was having a good number of views but in few days after their arrests, it was viewed for more than 600,000 times.
Here's a copy of the video, with English subtitles, from YouTube:
The show's title also turned into a Twitter hashtag #Mal3ob3lena, where Saudis condemned the arrests of those three young men and also expressed their sorrow against the oppression of free speech in the kingdom. This came hand in hand with the use of another hashtag that has been alive for months #e3teqal (translated to: Arrest) where people post updates and discuss the issue of thousands of Saudi detainees, many of whom arrested for no valid reasons and are being denied the right to fair trials.
Saudi blogger Haneen wrote a post [ar] about what those three young vloggers have done:
Twitter surely carried most of the Saudi reactions towards the news of releasing the three vloggers. Firas' mother (@omm_feras) joined Twitter after his arrest only to post her prayers and thus gain attention, support, and sympathy for her son's case. After his release she tweeted for her 6000+ followers, whom she gained over two weeks, saying:
Saudi blogger Khaled Al-Nasser (@Mashi9a7) found the arrests helpful for the cause:
Saudi blogger Abdullah Al-Suwaiyan wrote a post after the arrests entitled Firas.. the prophet of new media:
Saad Al-Najdi (@SNajdi) used the opportunity to compare between mainstream media and citizen media:
Lahem Alnasser (@lahem88) made the connection between the vloggers and political detainees in Saudi Arabia:
Another Saudi user (@SaudiLibral) saw releasing the vloggers as a victory:
Ali Al-Nuaim (@nuaim2), Firas' friend, tweeted the Firas' words after his release:
Saudi (@eyad94Z) expressed his happiness with the release:
Dhary Al-Sahbibi (@iDharoooy212) asked a question which was repeated by others: