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'New' Saudi Arabia ushers in even more repressive climate for journalists

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (2ND L), attends the Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference in Riyadh, 24 October 2017
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (2ND L), attends the Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference in Riyadh, 24 October 2017

FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images

Excerpt of a 25 September 2018 CPJ blog post by Justin Shilad/CPJ Middle East and North Africa Research Associate.

Marwan al-Mureisi knew the rules: even in Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's "new" Saudi Arabia, issues touching on politics, religion, or the royal family were out of bounds. So in his reporting for the privately owned website Sabq and other outlets, al-Mureisi wrote about science, technology, and the need to embrace creativity and innovation--all hallmarks of the Crown Prince's much-lauded reform agenda.

It wasn't enough. On June 1, authorities arrested al-Mureisi from the Specialized Medical Center Hospital in Riyadh, while he was at the bedside of his five-year-old son, according to Khatab Alrawhani, a Yemeni journalist in Washington, D.C., with knowledge of al-Mureisi's case.

"A group of Saudi security [personnel]... came in took him and left his child in the hospital alone," Alrawhani said. "Since then, no one heard a word about him and his family [was] never granted permission to see him or to know where he is and what accusations [are] filed against him."

Read the full blog post on CPJ's site.

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