Habib Ali al-Maatiq is a published poet, journalist and photographer who supervised the news website Al-Fajr Cultural Network, known for its critical coverage of political unrest in the country’s heavily restricted Eastern Province.
He was arrested by security forces on 22 February 2012 at his workplace in the city of Jubail, eastern Saudi Arabia, for his coverage of pro-reformist protests in the Eastern Province.
International PEN and English PEN run a letter-writing campaign for Habib Ali al-Maatiq’s release, and report that he is feared to be at risk of torture and ill-treatment in detention.
English PEN – 23 May 2012:
Writing for Habib Ali al-Maatiq
To mark World Press Freedom Day on 3 May, English PEN ran a ‘Writers at Risk’ themed writing workshop where participants read poems by five writers of concern to PEN, before writing their own responses, interpretations and reinventions of these pieces.
PEN International WiPC – 24 April 2012:
SAUDI ARABIA: Fears for poet and journalist Habib Ali al-Maatiq
PEN International’s Writers in Prison Committee fears for the safety of poet and journalist Habib Ali al-Maatiq, who has been held without charge since 22 February 2012