Yet another assault by Saudi crown prince

Saudi Arabia's crown prince keeps pushing dangerous boundaries with journalists.



January 31, 2020 - 4:54 PM

Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman al Saud, left, receives a present from Russia's President Vladimir Putin, second from right, during a meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on October 14, 2019. Photo by (Alexei Nikolsky/Russian Presidential Press And Information Office/Tass/Abaca Press/TNS)

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, seemingly knows no limits in his quest to quash critical media coverage of the kingdom.

Most famously (infamously, really) was the brazen, brutal kidnapping, killing and dismemberment of dissident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was a U.S. resident writing for the Washington Post at the time of his murder. Five Saudis were sentenced to death (likely by beheading) and three to prison, while the man most experts, including the CIA and a U.N. panel, believe was behind the killing rules with impunity.

Now comes the news that even before the Khashoggi killing the crown prince may have been directly involved in hacking the cellphone of Jeff Bezos, the owner of the Washington Post and the founder of Amazon, with the intent to “influence, if not silence” criticism, according to two U.N. human-rights experts. The allegations are relevant to the “ongoing evaluation of claims about the crown prince’s involvement” in the Khashoggi case, Agnes Callamard, who led the U.N. analysis of the journalist’s killing, said in a statement.

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