Monday, 14 March 2011

Khaled: I will go to jail with a big smile

Khaled going to jail with a big smile.

Sue Lloyd Roberts is a British journalist with an accent from the 1930s. Her report from Saudi Arabia on BBC Newsnigh.was excellent. In Riyadh, she reported on the Day of Rage, a demonstration which 30,000 people had signed up for on Facebook.

But following government threats and a flood of police and security onto the site of the demonstration, precisely nobody turned up (which was not the case in other parts of the country). So Roberts' minders shepherded her to the scene.

"Report what you see," said the inspectors in charge.

Roberts saw nothing. Then Khaled, a 40-year-old teacher, drove up in his sports car. This is what he said. 

Khaled: I need freedom. I need democracy. The Royal Family don't own us. I have a right to speak.  They will put you in jail after five minutes if you speak, if you say anything. Everybody here wants to go to jail because all the country is a big jail."

SLR: What do you think will happen to you now you've spoken out?

Khaled: I will go to jail with a big smile... because when you don't have the right to speak, you are in jail.

At the end of his demonstration of one, Khaled drove off followed by a police car and that is the last that Roberts heard of him.

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