Monday 16 December 2019
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The News - 13 days ago

Saudi media summit held a year after Khashoggi murder

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is hosting a two-day media summit that began on Monday, just days after a crackdown on writers and bloggers and a year after journalist Jamal Khashoggi s murder. Riyadh, which appears to be intensifying a crackdown on free expression, is seeking to shore up its international reputation following criticism over its human rights record as it prepares to host the G20 summit next November. The Saudi Media Forum is hosting more than 1,000 journalists from Arab and international media, in a first such conference focused on opportunities and challenges in the industry, organisers said. The forum will also host a media award ceremony. We believe in the important role media plays today, as well as freedom and independence of the press, Mohammed al-Harthi, president of the forum, said in a statement. This year Saudi Arabia slid to 172 out of 180 countries in an index ranking freedom of the media, prepared annually by Reporters Without Borders (RSF). De facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman faced global outrage after Khashoggi s murder in October last year in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

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