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Thread: Here: A Khashoggi / Saudi Arabia thread !

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    Avalon Member Bob's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Re: Here: A Khashoggi / Saudi Arabia thread !

    How far back was the plot being hatched?

    In August this year, Saudi ordered its ambassador to leave Canada.
    Saudi Arabia has ordered its ambassador to Canada to come home and has expelled the Canadian ambassador, stopped Saudia flights to Canada, stated that all new commerce with Canada will now be reviewed, and told Saudi students there—there are 12,000—to study elsewhere.

    These are significant actions, not least for those 12,000 young Saudis who were just weeks away from the start of the new school year. How will they find new places to study in such a short time?

    The Kingdom will put on hold all new business and investment transactions with Canada while retaining its right to take further action.
    Apparently the house of Saud (can we say MbS?) isn't happy with Canada - Canada had said:
    Quote “Canada is gravely concerned about additional arrests of civil society and women’s rights activists in #SaudiArabia, including Samar Badawi. We urge the Saudi authorities to immediately release them and all other peaceful #humanrights activists.”
    Who is backing MBS?

    Egypt, Bahrain, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have commended the royal decrees issued by Saudi Arabia's King Mohammad bin Salman.

    Quote For decades, Mr Khashoggi had been close to the Saudi royal family but last year he went into self-imposed exile in the US after an apparent crackdown on dissents in the country.

    Since then, he had been writing a column for the Washington Post's Global Opinions section.

    Fifteen days after he went missing, the newspaper published Khashoggi's last article - a call for press freedom across the Arab world.
    And what statements may have lead to his execution?

    Here are some of his last articles:
    'We Saudis deserve better' - 18 September 2017
    "When I speak of the fear, intimidation, arrests and public shaming of intellectuals and religious leaders who dare to speak their minds, and then I tell you that I'm from Saudi Arabia, are you surprised?

    "Under pressure from my government, the publisher of one of the most widely read Arabic dailies, Al-Hayat, cancelled my column. The government banned me from Twitter when I cautioned against an overly enthusiastic embrace of then-President-elect Donald Trump.

    "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. I want you to know that Saudi Arabia has not always been as it is now. We Saudis deserve better."

    'Acting like Putin' - 5 November 2017
    "Mohammed bin Salman is acting like Putin. He is imposing very selective justice. The crackdown on even the most constructive criticism — the demand for complete loyalty with a significant 'or else' — remains a serious challenge to the crown prince's desire to be seen as a modern, enlightened leader.

    "We Saudis deserve more than the spectacle of royals and officials interred at the Ritz Carlton. We also should have the right to speak about these important and impactful changes — and the many more needed to achieve the crown prince's vision for our country.

    "We are a kingdom of silence no longer."

    'Terrible choice' - 21 May 2018
    "We are being asked to abandon any hope of political freedom, and to keep quiet about arrests and travel bans that impact not only the critics but also their families.

    We are expected to vigorously applaud social reforms and heap praise on the crown prince while avoiding any reference to the pioneering Saudis who dared to address these issues decades ago.

    "Is there no other way for us? Must we choose between movie theatres and our rights as citizens to speak out, whether in support of or critical of our government's actions?

    Do we only voice glowing references to our leader's decisions, his vision of our future, in exchange for the right to live and travel freely — for ourselves and our wives, husbands and children too?

    "This is the choice I've woken up to each morning ever since last June, when I left Saudi Arabia for the last time after being silenced by the government for six months."

    'Free expression' - 17 October 2018
    "A state-run narrative dominates the public psyche, and while many do not believe it, a large majority of the population falls victim to this false narrative. Sadly, this situation is unlikely to change.

    "Arab governments have been given free rein to continue silencing the media at an increasing rate... These governments, whose very existence relies on the control of information, have aggressively blocked the Internet. They have also arrested local reporters and pressured advertisers to harm the revenue of specific publications.

    "The Arab world is facing its own version of an Iron Curtain, imposed not by external actors but through domestic forces vying for power.

    "Through the creation of an independent international forum, isolated from the influence of nationalist governments spreading hate through propaganda, ordinary people in the Arab world would be able to address the structural problems their societies face."
    ---What do you think, anything in there trigger MbS into ordering "off with his head?"

    reference: From the Washington Post -

    Quote I was recently online looking at the 2018 “Freedom in the World” report published by Freedom House and came to a grave realization. There is only one country in the Arab world that has been classified as “free.” That nation is Tunisia. Jordan, Morocco and Kuwait come second, with a classification of “partly free.” The rest of the countries in the Arab world are classified as “not free.”

    As a result, Arabs living in these countries are either uninformed or misinformed. They are unable to adequately address, much less publicly discuss, matters that affect the region and their day-to-day lives. A state-run narrative dominates the public psyche, and while many do not believe it, a large majority of the population falls victim to this false narrative. Sadly, this situation is unlikely to change.

    The Arab world was ripe with hope during the spring of 2011. Journalists, academics and the general population were brimming with expectations of a bright and free Arab society within their respective countries. They expected to be emancipated from the hegemony of their governments and the consistent interventions and censorship of information. These expectations were quickly shattered; these societies either fell back to the old status quo or faced even harsher conditions than before.

    My dear friend, the prominent Saudi writer Saleh al-Shehi, wrote one of the most famous columns ever published in the Saudi press. He unfortunately is now serving an unwarranted five-year prison sentence for supposed comments contrary to the Saudi establishment. The Egyptian government’s seizure of the entire print run of a newspaper, al-Masry al Youm, did not enrage or provoke a reaction from colleagues. These actions no longer carry the consequence of a backlash from the international community. Instead, these actions may trigger condemnation quickly followed by silence.

    As a result, Arab governments have been given free rein to continue silencing the media at an increasing rate. There was a time when journalists believed the Internet would liberate information from the censorship and control associated with print media. But these governments, whose very existence relies on the control of information, have aggressively blocked the Internet. They have also arrested local reporters and pressured advertisers to harm the revenue of specific publications.

    [Read Khashoggi’s last column for The Post before his disappearance in Arabic]

    There are a few oases that continue to embody the spirit of the Arab Spring. Qatar’s government continues to support international news coverage, in contrast to its neighbors’ efforts to uphold the control of information to support the “old Arab order.” Even in Tunisia and Kuwait, where the press is considered at least “partly free,” the media focuses on domestic issues but not issues faced by the greater Arab world. They are hesitant to provide a platform for journalists from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Yemen. Even Lebanon, the Arab world’s crown jewel when it comes to press freedom, has fallen victim to the polarization and influence of pro-Iran Hezbollah.

    The Arab world is facing its own version of an Iron Curtain, imposed not by external actors but through domestic forces vying for power. During the Cold War, Radio Free Europe, which grew over the years into a critical institution, played an important role in fostering and sustaining the hope of freedom. Arabs need something similar. In 1967, the New York Times and The Post took joint ownership of the International Herald Tribune newspaper, which went on to become a platform for voices from around the world.

    My publication, The Post, has taken the initiative to translate many of my pieces and publish them in Arabic. For that, I am grateful. Arabs need to read in their own language so they can understand and discuss the various aspects and complications of democracy in the United States and the West. If an Egyptian reads an article exposing the actual cost of a construction project in Washington, then he or she would be able to better understand the implications of similar projects in his or her community.

    The Arab world needs a modern version of the old transnational media so citizens can be informed about global events. More important, we need to provide a platform for Arab voices. We suffer from poverty, mismanagement and poor education. Through the creation of an independent international forum, isolated from the influence of nationalist governments spreading hate through propaganda, ordinary people in the Arab world would be able to address the structural problems their societies face.
    Last edited by Bob; 25th October 2018 at 20:41. Reason: added links and more references
    Each of us play our part in creating a new story for humanity and our planet ~

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