Freedom of Speech and Punishment in Saudi Arabia EPA-EFE/MOHAMED HOSSAM
Middle East

Freedom of Speech and Punishment in Saudi Arabia

After getting too friendly with Israel, a brave Saudi journalist has been thrown in prison

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It was almost unimaginable. A Saudi journalist and commentator starring in Israeli media, and international media supporting Israel! Indeed, the very same person had previously opposed normalization with Israel.

In media appearances that shook conservative Saudi Arabia, he came out strongly against Iran and against the Palestinians. His public appearances embarrassed the Saudi rulers, who have now framed him on false charges and put him in prison, probably for many years.

I am referring to the brave journalist Abdul Hameed Al-Ghabin, who began appearing in the Israeli media on live broadcasts from Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, one of the most conservative states in the Persian Gulf, and an absolute monarchy.

A trail blazer comes up against ‘Big Brother’

Al-Ghabin was the first Saudi journalist to publish an opinion piece in an Israeli newspaper. This article almost caused a diplomatic incident between the Saudis and the Jordanians because of his proposal to transfer management of the Al-Aqsa Mosque to the Saudis. The Jordanians were very angry, and he was reprimanded.

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