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The Saudi Monarchy May Have Killed a Free Man

October 9, 2018 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi moved to the United States
after he was pressured to stop criticizing Crown Prince Mohammed
bin Salman’s new authoritarian order. He explained his
decision a year ago in the Washington Post : “I have
left my home, my family and my job, and I am raising my voice. To
do otherwise would betray those who languish in prison. I can speak
when so many cannot.”

Khashoggi, who once advised members of the royal family, appears
to have paid the ultimate price for living his principles. On
Tuesday he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, seeking
to complete paperwork to facilitate his remarriage. He never
exited. Alive, anyway.

The Saudi authorities insist that he had left and they also are
looking for him. It first appeared likely that he had been
kidnapped, a common tactic used by Riyadh against dissident princes
and other critics. The Turkish police noted the departure of
several diplomatic vehicles from the building, in which he could
have been taken, drugged and/or bound. However, Ankara now
concludes that Khashoggi was murdered by a special hit squad
brought in for that purpose.

Did journalist Jamal
Khashoggi fall prey to the tyrannical regime in Saudi
Arabia?

Stated an anonymous official: “We believe that the murder
was premeditated and the body was subsequently moved out of the
consulate.” If true, Riyadh has dramatically escalated the
war on its critics, many of whom, as Khashoggi related, currently
languish in prison. However, having denied that the journalist is
either at the consulate or in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the
regime could not easily later release him from prison. And death
certainly ends his criticism.

The KSA never has run on liberal principles. However, there long
was some space for measured criticism, with liberals allowed to
advocate reform. Khashoggi called it “a gentleman’s
agreement” which resulted in a balance between what could and
could not be published. However, that tolerance has disappeared
under the reign of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also known as
MbS, who with his father has turned a brotherly monarchy into a
family dictatorship.

Unfortunately, the crown prince’s long overdue social
liberalization has been more than counterbalanced by imposition of
political tyranny. Explained Khashoggi: “We started seeing
more direct pressure on journalists to only publish pro-government
stories. Some people were asked to sign loyalty pledges. Some
people were banned from writing or had their columns taken down.
Things got worse for the activists, too, or people with critical
opinions. The government was sending a message that if you’re
not with us, you’re against us.”

On his arrival in the United States Khashoggi wrote of
“the fear, intimidation, …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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