Jamal Khashoggi was murdered because he had become a critic of the Saudi regime, and the at We call on Saudi Arabia to end its violence against journalistsSign the petitionleast 28 Saudi journalists, columnists and bloggers who are in prison are there for the same reason, because their articles and their online posts annoyed the regime.
Some were jailed when King Salman or his predecessor, King Abdullah were in charge. They include the citizen-journalist Raif Badawi, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes in 2012 for “insulting Islam.” Others are the victims of the crackdown launched in the autumn of 2017 by the new crown prince, his son Mohammad bin Salman (MBS).
They include three women who defended women’s rights. All three were jailed without any charge being officially announced. Most of the journalists currently detained are awaiting trial.
When a sentence is finally announced, it can be terrible. The religious intellectual and blogger Salman al Awdah was sentenced to death in September. One journalist, the poet Fayez Ben Damakh, has completely disappeared. He has been missing since September 2017, when he was on the point of launching a TV news channel in Kuwait. The Kuwaiti media say he was extradited to Saudi Arabia and was imprisoned there.
RSF is publishing the portraits of some of the imprisoned journalists, columnists and bloggers, including the most prominent ones. RSF points out that the number currently in prison may be more than 28 because of the regime’s opaqueness and the difficulty of verifying information.