Bloomberg Businessweek

DAMAGE CONTROL IN THE KINGDOM

A missing journalist compels the king to step in and ordinary Saudis to watch their words
The entrance to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul

On Oct. 13 newspapers in Saudi Arabia released a pointed reminder to the citizens of the kingdom: Article 6 of the Anti-Cyber Crime Law stipulates a maximum five years in prison and a maximum fine of 3 million riyals ($800,000) for sharing rumors or fake news that breach public order, religious values, public morals, and privacy. Everyone knew what it was directed at—speculation about the involvement of the government in the Oct. 2 disappearance and alleged murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a U.S.-based journalist and prominent critic of the regime’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

At first, the Saudi narrative had been simply to depict the case as an attempt to smear the country because of its power in the Middle East—even as Turkish officials claimed it was Saudi Arabia that ordered the killing. In the kingdom, government-controlled

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Bloomberg Businessweek

Bloomberg Businessweek8 min readPolitics
Protesting Like It’s 2047
Hong Kong’s demonstrators have one big issue: Their city’s fate when China fully takes over in 28 years
Bloomberg Businessweek3 min read
France May Take The Cuffs Off Its TVs
Archaic broadcasting rules could be eased, leveling the field with web rivals and bringing millions of additional euros in ad revenue
Bloomberg Businessweek3 min readFood & Wine
Craft Beer for Nondrinkers
Just before noon at the O’Fallon Brewery O’Bar in Maryland Heights, Mo., the pub begins to fill with workers from nearby office parks. Scattered among the usual burgers and build-your-own flatbreads are more than a few pints of beer. This is a brewer