Saudi academic released after questioning on defamation charges

Saudi academic released after questioning on defamation charges

Saudi academic Ahmad bin Rashid has been released from by authorities in Mecca after being held for questioning related to defamation charges brought against him by al-Arabiya news channel.
2 min read
07 June, 2016
Bin Rashid has long led an online campaign against Saudi-owned MBC [YouTube]

Saudi academic Ahmad bin Rashid bin Saeed al-Tamimi has been released one day after being called in for questioning by Mecca police, after the Saudi-owned news channel al-Arabiya took legal action against him.

Tamimi - widely known by his Twitter handle @loveliberty - was released on Tuesday after being questioned about defamation charges the channel filed against him, sources close to the academic told The New Arab.

The professor of political communication is a long-time critic of the MBC media empire and its news channel al-Arabiya.

He shot to fame after his online campaign #DeconstructingZionistNarratives, which took aim at the network's "biased" news coverage. It garnered a huge pan-Arab following and hundreds of thousands of engagements.

On Sunday, Bin Rashid called for a boycott of MBC and other "Zionist propaganda mouthpieces" in a series of tweets directed at the channel's chairman Waleed al-Ibrahim.

The Arabic-language hashtag #WeAreAllBinRashid gained traction on Twitter shortly after he was arrested.

Translation: "The legend of deconstructing Zionist narratives. Ahmad, your head will always be held up high."

Bin Rashid has amassed a cult-like following in Saudi Arabia and many other countries for being a vocal critic of al-Arabiya's coverage of Israel and despotic Arab regimes.

His high-profile led to a famous Saudi Ramadan comedy series on MBC, making a sketch about him in 2013.