Saudi journalist 'silenced' over perceived royal slur

Saudi journalist 'silenced' over perceived royal slur
Authorities in Saudi Arabia have reportedly blocked prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi from giving a lecture because its title was deemed offensive to the Kingdom's late king.
2 min read
07 July, 2015
Jamal Khashoggi has pushed for reform in Saudi Arabia [al-Araby al-Jadeed]
Saudi authorities have cancelled a lecture that a veteran Saudi journalist was intending to deliver on Saturday in Jeddah, after its title caused an uproar online.

Authorities prevented the editor-in-chief of al-Arab News Channel, Jamal Khashoggi, from giving the lecture because of its controversial title: “After ten lean years the people will prosper”, which suggests the talk was intended to criticize the reign of the late king Abdullah bin Abdulaziz.

In response to the outcry, Khashoggi tweeted, “The subject of the Jeddah lecture was the challenges of the up-coming decade and the necessity to stand together to make Saudi Arabia a success, rout out terrorism and sectarianism and re-stabilize the region.”

Saudi Twitter users launched the Arabic language hashtag “We demand Khashoggi’s lecture is cancelled” in response to the supposed slight to the king, who died in January after ruling for a decade.

Security analyst Mohammad al-Hadla said, “Cancelling the lecture is not enough this base man must be punished. If we do not speak out against people like this, it means we’re letting an army of deviants such as him achieve permanent acceptance.”

Another Twitter user wrote:

“I hope this is the start of a crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood supporters, who care more about their own interests than the country’s.”

Last week, Saudi Arabia referred a televangelist and a talk show host for investigation for insulting the late King during a television programme.

In February, the al-Arab television channel, which Khashoggi heads, was taken off the air less than 24 hours after it launched for broadcasting an interview with a Bahraini opposition leader.