World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


RSF Launches ‘50-day Clock’ And Petition Calling For Press Freedom Improvements Ahead Of G20 Summit

On the second anniversary of the assassination of Saudi columnist Jamal Khashoggi, and with 50 days left until the November 2020 G20 summit in Riyadh, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has launched a ‘50-day clock’ and petition urging G20 capitals to obtain concrete press freedom improvements in Saudi Arabia - starting with the release of the country’s 34 jailed journalists.

From November 21 to 22, Saudi Arabia is set to host the G20 summit virtually from Riyadh, despite holding one of the world’s worst records on press freedom. RSF has launched a petition calling on G20 capitals to hold the Saudi government to account and act to obtain concrete press freedom improvements in Saudi Arabia in the 50 days left until the summit.

Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s most prolific jailers of journalists, with 34 journalists currently languishing behind bars in connection with their work. Many of these journalists have been mistreated in detention. RSF has consistently campaigned for their release, and raised their cases directly with the Saudi government in an unprecedented press freedom mission to the country in April 2019.

This is in addition to continued impunity for the horrific murder of Saudi columnist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul on October 2, 2018. A closed trial with no public or media present reportedly resulted in the sentencing of eight unidentified defendants to prison sentences and the acquittal of three others - falling far short of international standards. No independent international investigation has taken place.

“Without addressing these serious ongoing violations in Saudi Arabia, G20 members risk severely damaging their own reputations. But we believe the Riyadh summit could instead present an opportunity to secure concrete improvements. We call on G20 capitals - from London to Berlin - to urge the Saudi government to release the country’s 34 jailed journalists and begin to turn their dire press freedom record around,” said RSF general secretary Christophe Deloire.

The Saudi government has stated that the three main aims of the 2020 G20 presidency are “empowering people,” safeguarding the planet,” and “shaping new frontiers.” But these goals cannot be achieved if G20 members and, in particular, the state holding the presidency, do not respect their international press freedom obligations.

A ‘50-day clock’ on RSF’s homepage will count down the days remaining until the start of the 21-22 November Riyadh summit, setting a deadline for G20 states to secure press freedom improvements in Saudi Arabia. On the eve of the summit, RSF will deliver the petition to authorities in key G20 capitals.

Saudi Arabia is ranked 170th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2020 World Press Freedom Index.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


OECD: COVID-19 Crisis Puts Migration And Progress On Integration At Risk, Says

Watch the live webcast of the press conference Migration flows have increased over the past decade and some progress has been made to improve the integration of immigrants in the host countries. But some of these gains may be erased by the COVID-19 pandemic ... More>>

Pacific Media Watch: How Pacific Environmental Defenders Are Coping With The Covid Pandemic

SPECIAL REPORT: By Sri Krishnamurthi of Pacific Media Watch Pacific Climate Warriors - creative action to trigger better responses to climate crisis. Image: ... More>>

Reporters Without Borders: Julian Assange’s Extradition Hearing Marred By Barriers To Open Justice

After monitoring four weeks of evidence in the US extradition proceedings against Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates concern regarding the targeting of Assange for his contributions to journalism, and calls ... More>>

OHCHR: Stranded Migrants Need Safe And Dignified Return – UN Migrant Workers Committee

The UN Committee on Migrant Workers has today called on governments to take immediate action to address the inhumane conditions of migrant workers who are stranded in detention camps and ensure they can have an orderly, safe and dignified return to ... More>>