Saudi author arrested over poem
Authorities in Saudi Arabia have arrested a popular poet and dismissed a newspaper editor over the publication of a poem criticising the state's Islamic judiciary.
Reports say the poet Abdul Mohsen Musalam was jailed after he was taken in for questioning in Jeddah four days ago.
It is not clear whether Mr Musalam was charged or if he will face trial.
His arrest follows the publication in Saudi Arabia's al-Madina newspaper on 10 March of Mr Musalam's poem, The Corrupt on Earth.
In it, the poet accused some judges of being corrupt and issuing unfair rulings for their own material benefit.
"It is sad that in the Muslim world, justice is suffering from a few judges who care for nothing but their bank accounts and their status with the rulers," the poem read.
Mr Musalam wrote: "Your beards are smeared with blood. You indulge a thousand tyrants and only the tyrant do you obey."
On Monday, Saudi Arabia's Interior Minister, Prince Nayef, ordered the sacking of al-Madina's editor-in-chief, Mohammed al-Mukhtar al-Fal, for allowing the poem to be published.
Like most Saudi newspapers, al-Madina is controlled by the government.
Sales of al-Madina soared after the poem's publication and demand for the newspaper increased in the following days, French news agency AFP reported.
Criticism of the judiciary, which practices strict Islamic law, or Sharia, is rare in Saudi Arabia.
Unlike western judicial systems, defendants in Saudi Arabia are not generally represented by a lawyer and the judge who hears a case decides the verdict and sentence.