Saudi Arabian Authoritarianism: First Hand

aljazeera-error

I was disturbed to learn this week that the corporate headquarters of Al Jazeera blocked my article critiquing Saudi Arabia’s human rights record from viewers outside the United States. The article is still available in the U.S., but people attempting to open the article in other countries were given an error or “not found” page (see above).

This comes after I was incessantly trolled on twitter by what appeared to be an organized campaign intended to intimidate me; an article in the Saudi Arabian newspaper Okaz quoting a director of Al Jazeera apologizing for the article and saying that it would be removed; and a news story from a Bahraini website, profiling a tweet of my article from Al Jazeera America’s account, which was later deleted.

intercept

I will not submit to this act of censorship and hope this episode draws even greater attention to those persecuted by Saudi Arabia, with the implicit support of the U.S.  The Intercept published an essay on the censorship.  They also republished my original column so that it is once again available worldwide.

Saudi Arabia’s “War On Terror”

Saudi Arabia is a serial human rights violator and an authoritarian regime. The U.S. is complicit in their impunity, including the Kingdom’s recently announced decision to execute more than 50 people on a single day for alleged terrorist crimes.  There’s also the war in Yemen, where Saudi Arabia has very likely committed war crimes by indiscriminately killing civilians and using cluster bombs in civilian populated areas.

Think of it this way: “Even before Paris, the U.S. used its ‘war on terrorism’ to invade and occupy Afghanistan and Iraq, engage in mass surveillance and develop an assassination program immune from judicial oversight. Is it any surprise that Saudi Arabia feels emboldened to intensify its own ‘war on terrorism’?”

Thanks to Al Jazeera America for asking me to write this piece.