Saturday, 12.01.2018, 16:06
Brutal Killing of Saudi journalist JAMAL KHASHOGGI did not come as a surprise to
me as I’m from a military state in a third countries in the Middle East. In my
experience of practising freelance journalism in Iraq there is no venue where
you can voice your opinions and ask unjust leaders to stop stealing public
wealth and to allow freedom of speech.
There are many young journalists, killed in many difference ways, across Iraq regardless of their ethnic backgrounds; the only crime they have committed is to try to highlight truths to the nation.
No one today remembers the freelance reporter KAWA GARMYANE who was shot dead on his door step in front of his wife and family in northern Iraq. A similar case is Soran Mama Hama and there are many others in Iraq and the Middle East, their only sin was trying to highlight corruption.
These journalists tried to tell the young free minded men and women in Iraq to ask for their rights in a modern and democratic way, but like many middle eastern governments, who never accept a different in opinion, these young people paid with their lives.
There is an Iraqi saying “what Saddam says, Iraq says” that is the ethos followed by governments in Middle East.
Mohammed Ibn Salman advocates there is no room for freelance journalists, like Mr Khashoggi who expressed the opinion, that what is best for the Saudi nation and the right way to let democracy improve in third countries of the world. He advocated that freedom of speech is rooted deep down in every loyal Saudi.
Journalists are not allowed to raise their point and speak openly in public they hide their point of view fearing facing the same future as Jamal Khashoggi.
Khashoggi said often that he is not against the rule of the Saudi royal family, he tweeted “I am a Saudi Arabian but a different one; say what you have say and walk” But he paid with his life.
He is not the last one to pay the price, there are thousands of human right activists, business leaders and members of the royal family who languish in the prisons of Mohamed Ibn Salman.
Saudi Princes have been kidnapped and returned to the country and are on death row. Many are branded as terrorists because they disagree with war in Yemen and the bombing of civilians there.
Mohamed Ibn Salman and the Saudi ruling families have turned the country into a huge prison, no capacity for change. There is no place to hide in the world. According to a Faisal al-Shahrani tweet “you leave your country arrogantly … we return you humiliated” Middle Eastern deal harshly with their citizen if they disagree with their government.
From my experience of when I was living in Iraq as a young freelance reporter, columnist and writer in the university and local newspaper, you are one tweet away from death.
Finally I hope that all western countries, human right groups, united nation and CPJs try to save in particular freelance journalists. It is time to ramp up the pressure on these countries who murder journalist and then cover it with diplomatic or economic deals.
I will stand one minute silent to the soul of Jamal Khashoggi and many journalist in world especially Iraqi they paid highest price which is there life for us to continue…
Writer:Ali Barznji /the member of national union journalist in Glasgow