US to ban visas over dissident threats, bars 76 Saudis

US to ban visas over dissident threats, bars 76 Saudis
The US will ban entry to foreigners who threaten dissidents, as well as restricted 76 Saudis who have threatened dissidents overseas, including the slain Jamal Khashoggi.
1 min read
27 February, 2021
Blinken vowed Biden's administration will "push back against governments" who threaten dissidents overseas [Getty]

The United States will ban entry of foreigners who threaten dissidents and will immediately restrict 76 Saudis in honor of the slain Jamal Khashoggi, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday.

After President Joe Biden declassified a report that pinned blame on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over Khashoggi's 2018 killing in Istanbul, Blinken vowed the administration will "push back against governments that reach beyond their borders to threaten and attack journalists and perceived dissidents for exercising their fundamental freedoms."

"We have made absolutely clear that extraterritorial threats and assaults by Saudi Arabia against activists, dissidents and journalists must end. They will not be tolerated by the United States," Blinken said in a statement.

Under the new "Khashoggi ban," the United States will restrict any individuals who have engaged in "serious, extraterritorial counter-dissident activities" that includes harassment of journalists or their families, Blinken said.

In a first implementation, Blinken said the United States will ban the entry of 76 Saudis who have been engaged in threatening dissidents overseas including in the Khashoggi case.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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