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Saudi citizen arrested for blasphemy

The man was arrested after allegedly insulting God, the Prophet and his companions, tore up copies of the Holy Quran and denounced religious teachings

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A Saudi national was arrested in the Hafr Al-Batin governorate Thursday evening after he allegedly insulted God, the Prophet and his companions, tore up copies of the Holy Quran and denounced religious teachings, Al-Sharq newspaper reported on Saturday.

Members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (the Haia) in the region arrested the 30-year-old Saudi who lives in Al-Qaissoumah.

The man, who claims to be an atheist, had also published blasphemous material on social networking websites. Sources in the Haia in Hafr Al-Batin said the Haia monitored the man’s activities for more than three months before arresting him.

They said the man received financial support from certain groups to publish material insulting religion on the Internet. The Haia members seized the clips.

This article was originally published in the Saudi Gazette on April 20, 2014.