Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia

Cracking down harder

Saudi Arabia permits no independent media. Authorities keep Saudi journalists under close surveillance—even when they are abroad, as Jamal Khashoggi’s murder in Istanbul in October 2018 illustrated. Despite his talk of reform, Mohammad bin Salman has intensified the repression since his appointment as crown prince in June 2017. The number of journalists and citizen-journalists in detention has tripled since the start of 2017. Most are being held arbitrarily and are likely subjected to torture, which is almost systematic for prisoners of conscience.
Journalists who voice criticism or analyse political problems are liable to be fired or detained under criminal code provisions or under the terrorism or cybercrime laws on charges of blasphemy, “insulting religion,” “inciting chaos,” “jeopordizing national unity,” or "harming the image and reputation of the king and the state.” Everyone censors themselves, even on social networks.

in the 2019 World Press Freedom Index



169 in 2018

Global score


63.13 in 2018

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2020
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2020
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2020
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