Originally published on Advocate.com March 20 2004 12:00 AM ET
A leading source for news about the gay and lesbian community in the Middle East has once again been blocked by the government in Saudi Arabia. GayMiddleEast.com recently received numerous e-mails from loyal readers in Saudi Arabia advising them that Saudi authorities have blocked entrance to the Web site. After conducting its own investigation, GME learned that the Saudi authorities had blocked access not only to GME but also to gay-related Internet sites. "It saddens us that this event is taking place just as GME reported that his majesty the King of Saudi Arabia had allowed for the first time the establishment of a Human Rights Commission inside Saudi Arabia." said GME manager A. Getenio. "It seems that Saudi Arabian human rights in general has had a very bad week, considering the imprisonment of numerous Saudi intellectuals who spoke publicly of the possibility of Saudi Arabia making the transition to a constitutional monarchy."
In June 2003, GME learned for the first time that access to its Web site had been blocked by Saudi authorities. After this information was publicized in the international media, the Saudis reopened access to GME. The management of GME said it is preparing a report that will be presented to various international human rights organizations that specialize in the freedom of Internet speech.