Saudi Arabia / Middle East & North Africa

Journalists attacked in Saudi Arabia since 1992

  
A poster of Saudi Arabia's King and Crown Prince, in Jeddah in November 2017. Medical assessments leaked to The Guardian reveal the abuse of detainees, including at least four journalists, in Saudi prisons. (Reuters/Reem Baeshen)

Infographic: Journalists named in Guardian report on torture in Saudi jails

Individuals detained under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s crackdown on dissent, including at least four journalists, are being abused and tortured in Saudi prisons, according to medical assessments prepared for King Salman and leaked to The Guardian.

Read More ›

On International Women’s Day, CPJ highlights jailed female journalists

On International Women’s Day, CPJ has highlighted the cases of female journalists jailed around the world in retaliation for their work. At least 33 of the 251 journalists in jail at the time of CPJ’s prison census are women. At least one of those–Turkish reporter and artist Zehra Dogan–was released in February after serving a…

Read More ›

A Saudi Arabia flag and a surveillance camera are seen in the backyard of the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul. Saudi actors are believed to have spied on phone calls and messages between murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi and his friend, Saudi dissident Omar Abdulaziz. (AFP/Ozan Kose)

How the Saudis may have spied on Jamal Khashoggi

Omar Abdulaziz, a 27-year-old Saudi Arabian dissident, can still remember the time Jamal Khashoggi, the storied Saudi journalist, unfollowed him on Twitter. It was in 2015, and Khashoggi had been tapped to head a new TV network called Al-Arab, a partnership between a member of the royal family and Bloomberg. Abdulaziz started haranguing Khashoggi online,…

Read More ›

A protester wears a mask depicting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman with painted hands next to people holding posters of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi during the demonstration outside the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul on October 25, 2018. (AFP/Yasin Akgul)

Saudi control of Arab media, lamented by Khashoggi, shapes coverage of his death

It is a cruel irony that Jamal Khashoggi’s last unpublished column for The Washington Post was a call for press freedom in the Arab world. His homeland, Saudi Arabia, has spent the last three decades and hundreds of millions of dollars to ensure that never happens.

Read More ›

The path(s) to justice in Jamal Khashoggi’s murder

In an emotional address to Turkey’s parliament today, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan described the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi as a savage and premeditated act and demanded that Saudi officials be brought to Turkey to stand trial. Most of the information about the investigation that has emerged has come through leaks to the Turkish…

Read More ›

A portrait of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during National Day celebrations in September 2018. The climate for press freedom has become more repressive under his rule. (AFP/Fayez Nureldine)

‘New’ Saudi Arabia ushers in even more repressive climate for journalists

Marwan al-Mureisi knew the rules: even in Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s “new” Saudi Arabia, issues touching on politics, religion, or the royal family were out of bounds. So in his reporting for the privately owned website Sabq and other outlets, al-Mureisi wrote about science, technology, and the need to embrace creativity and innovation–all hallmarks…

Read More ›

A Snap banner covers the facade of the New York Stock Exchange in March 2017. The social media company's transparency report shows it received and complied with three government takedown requests for the Al-Jazeera Discover channel. (AFP/Bryan R. Smith)

Undiscoverable: How Al-Jazeera’s Snapchat channel disappeared from three Gulf nations

Search for “Al-Jazeera” on Snapchat, and the first result that comes up is a ubiquitous publisher channel in the app’s famed vertical layout. That is, unless you are in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), or Bahrain. Users in these counties are instead offered a list of stores and restaurants that bear a similar…

Read More ›

The Qatar Airways office in Doha. Gulf countries imposed a ban on Qatari flights and many have announced penalties for those reporting critically on recent tensions with the country. (AFP/STR)

Amid Gulf tensions, press is used as a political pawn

Today Bahrain became the latest Gulf nation to put pressure on news outlets amid political tension, when its Interior Ministry announced that anyone publishing support or sympathy for Qatar faces up to five years in prison. The announcement came the day after the United Arab Emirates used the threat of prison to demarcate how journalists…

Read More ›

Ensaf Haidar, center, takes part in a demonstration calling for the release of her husband, Raif Badawi, in Ottawa January 29, 2015. (Reuters/Chris Wattie)

In censored Saudi Arabia, Raif Badawi filled a journalistic void

On the third anniversary of the arrest of liberal activist and writer Raif Badawi in Saudi Arabia, his supporters all over the world are working hard to prevent what may lay ahead: the completion of a 10-year, thousand-lash sentence. To be effective in changing Badawi’s future, it is important to take inspiration from his past,…

Read More ›

After Charlie Hebdo attack, vigils, protests and publishing bans

Protests against the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo were held in Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Middle East and parts of Africa over the weekend, as crowds demonstrated against the magazine’s portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad, according to news reports.

Read More ›