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Published On: Thu, Jul 11th, 2019

Saudi urged to release 30 jailed journalists and abandon its superficial PR exercise

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Riyadh(ANN)-A campaign to free 30 jailed journalists has been accelerated by Reporters Without Borders. The group which advocates for press freedom revealed that it was left with no option other than to increase pressure on the kingdom after what appeared to be an agreement for the expected release of journalists during Ramadan collapsed.

Reporters Without Borders have been in close contact with Riyadh since April. Representatives of the group are said to have met with several Saudi officials, including the public prosecutor and media minister, as well as the foreign and justice ministers. Their visit was spurred by the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the country’s poor record on press freedom.

Details of the meeting, which were released in the New York Times, show that the delegation from Reporters Without Borders urged the Saudi government to free the 30 journalists detained in the kingdom. Riyadh’s dismal record of its ranking in the organisation’s annual press freedom index – where it is placed 172 out of 180 countries – was also discussed.

READ: Saudi journalist tortured to death in prison

“They took time to hear what we had to say, and to explain why the country is 172 in the press freedom index,” said Christophe Deloire, secretary general of Reporters Without Borders. “It’s the first time they were so badly ranked, and they were of course not satisfied with that.”

The lack of action from the Saudis and the kingdom’s failure to issue pardons for the detained journalists during Ramadan – as had been discussed, prompted the group to release information this week about its meeting with the Saudis in an effort to add further pressure on Riyadh.

The detained group of 30 journalists include TV presenters, editors, columnists and bloggers. According to Reporters Without Borders, they are “the victims of an opaque and arbitrary judicial system, because of what they said in an article, a TV interview, a blog post or even a single tweet.”

The group monitoring press freedom urged global leaders to think of Riyadh’s poor human rights record and over poorer record on press freedom before going to the G20 summit next year in Riyadh.

“When you take international responsibilities, you cannot be in a situation where you have so many journalists in jail, and what happened last year,” said Deloire. He urged the Saudis to do the right thing by releasing the journalists instead of engaging in superficial public relations exercises.

Source: Middleeastmonitor.

About the Author

- Arraale Mohamoud Jama Freelance Journalist and Human Rights Activist Arraale, is a 20 year experience as a professional Journalist and human rights activist Over the years, worked for the major News Papers in Somaliland as a reporter, editor and contributor. 2008 established website Araweelo News Network, he currently runs a web site based in Somaliland. who is the specializes in the investigation and reporting on issues relating to human rights, democracy, and good governance. contact: Send an SMS or MMS to + 252 63 442 5380 WhatsApp + 252 65 910 7347.

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Araweelo is an Associated Network News, The most trusted source for news & Political,investigator report,Human Rights Issues,Educations,Social and Democracy ,Latest News Horn of Africa. runs Arraale Mohamoud Jama Freelance Journalist and Human Rights Activist based in Somaliland.

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