In a graphic display of the government’s assault on free expression, Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi journalist, was forcibly disappeared in a Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.
Mounting evidence strongly indicates that he was tortured and murdered by the government – and that the subsequent cover up also occurred at the direction of Saudi leaders.
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While the reasons for the arrests have not been publicly disclosed, it was widely interpreted that the individuals were targeted for criticizing government policies, including through their social media posts.
Two months later, the crown prince detained hundreds of businessmen and members of the royal family in what was described as an anticorruption drive; many were forced to come to opaque agreements as a condition of their release.
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Feel free to bookmark Chat Hour and forward our site to your friends.In addition, oversight and enforcement power for counterterrorism measures was transferred from the Ministry of Interior to the Public Prosecution and the Presidency of the State Security, two newly established bodies that report directly to the king.Beginning in September 2017, authorities arrested several prominent intellectuals, academics, religious clerics, and members of the ruling family.Many people have also used smartphones to spread awareness about popular concerns such as sexual harassment and women’s rights.While the internet remains the least repressive forum to air and exchange views, prominent activists and journalists perceived a shrinking space for online expression during the reporting period, resulting in a rise in self-censorship.Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman initiated a chaotic consolidation of power over the coverage period, with dire consequences for freedom of expression and human rights more broadly.