Sultan al-Jumairi

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Sultan al-Jumairi is a blogger, freelance journalist, and former editor of Al-Taqrir newspaper. Al-Jumairi was inactive for several years as a journalist by the time of his arrest, which was reported in September 2018, and it is unclear where he is being held or why.

The online newspaper Al-Sharq and a tweet by Qatari-based Al-Jazeera reported Al-Jumairi’s arrest in September 2018, citing activists. Neither specified the date he was arrested.

Al-Jazeera reported that al-Jumairi was editor-in-chief of Al-Taqrir until Saudi authorities abruptly suspended the newspaper in 2015; the suspension was also reported by Qatar-funded online news outlet Al-Araby al-Jadeed. Al-Jumairi also wrote his own blog which is now offline but was last archived by the Internet Archive on February 27, 2014; individual blog posts were not archived and CPJ was not able to review their content. In the biography page of the blog, al-Jumairi wrote that he had also written for Al-Muhaid newspaper and the magazines Al-Bayan, Al-Osrah, and Al-Ra’ah.

Al-Jumairi also wrote articles for the Kuwait-based think tank Gulf Centre for Development Policies between 2013 and 2016 about labor movements and rights in Saudi Arabia.

Al-Jumairi did not appear to be active as a journalist after 2016. In September 2017, authorities under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman began arresting perceived dissidents, including journalists, academics, religious figures and activists who were previously critical of the Saudi government, as well as independent thinkers and writers who did not publicly state their support for the crown prince or his policies. In many cases, detained journalists’ articles are scrubbed from the internet, and detained bloggers’ websites are no longer active.

As of September 2020, CPJ could not determine whether al-Jumairi had appeared before a court or been formally charged, or the status of his health.

In October 2020, CPJ emailed the spokesperson and the media office for the Saudi Embassy in Washington, D.C. for comment about journalists held in Saudi prisons, including al-Jumairi, but received automated messages that the emails were not delivered. The same month, CPJ also sent a request for comment to an email listed on the website of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Royal Court, but received a message saying the address did not exist. CPJ also emailed the Saudi Ministry of Media and sent a message through the website of the Saudi Center for International Communication, but neither request was returned.