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Saudi blogger freed from prison after four months

No charges, no trial

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A Saudi blogger imprisoned in early December has been released.

Fouad al-Farhan was arrested for "purposes of interrogation" it was never clear exactly what his offence was but he was a supporter of political reform. The authorities wanted a written apology which he refused to sign.

Al-Farhan was released on Saturday. He told AFP he had been treated well and was happy to be back with his friends and family. He did not elaborate on why he was locked up but thanked those who helped him while he was in prison. He said he would return to blogging.

Deputy interior minister Prince Ahmed told Saudi news agencies the case had been exaggerated by the media and al-Farhan was punished for mistakes he made: "A man who commits a mistake should bear its result.".

Nor does his release mean that charges are dropped, just that the investigation is over.

The news was welcomed by many Saudi bloggers, he was the first blogger to fall foul of the authorities and his case was being closely watched in the Kingdom.

There is an English language supporters' site here and a version of his blog is here.®

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