Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia

No independent media

Saudi Arabia permits no independent media and tolerates no independent political parties, unions, or human rights groups. The level of self-censorship is extremely high and the Internet is the only space where freely-reported information and views may be able to circulate, albeit at great risk to the citizen-journalists who post online. Like professional journalists, they are watched closely and critical comments are liable to lead to arrest and trial under the country’s terrorism or cyber-crime laws. Blasphemy, insulting religion, “inciting chaos,” “endangering national unity,” and defaming the king and the state are the most frequent charges brought against those who show a desire to report the reality. They may be detained arbitrarily without trial, mistreated in detention, and subjected to barbaric punishments such as flogging. Despite his talk of reform, the young Mohammad bin Salman’s appointment as crown prince in June 2017 has had no positive impact on the freedom to inform.

169
in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index

Ranking

-1

168 in 2017

Global score

-2.89

66.02 in 2017

  • 1
    journalists killed in 2018
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2018
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2018
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