Open letter to Prince Mohammad bin Salman:
THE LA PRESS CLUB IMPLORE YOU TO RELEASE RAIF BADAWI AND ALL JOURNALISTS CURRENTLY IMPRISONED IN SAUDI ARABIA
It is with horror we are following the disappearance and probable murder of Washington Post’s Jamal Khashoggi.
As one of America’s leading journalistic organizations the Los Angeles Press Club has a mission is to defend the free press everywhere. A country’s level of civilization is measured in the way the press is able to do its job without interference from government. You have proclaimed yourself a reformist, so we’re hoping you agree with this.
Mr. Khashoggi’s case speaks to broader issues regarding retaliation against journalists in Saudi Arabia. Blogger Raif Badawi has been imprisoned in your country since 2012 and sentenced to 1,000 lashes that–if carried out– will surely kill him.
We are imploring you to release Raif Badawi and all other political prisoners incarcerated for the sole “crime” of believing in freedom of expression. The inhumane imprisonment of Raif Badawi and his colleagues can only be righted in one way—please free them and send a message to the world that modern Saudi Arabia believes in freedom of expression for all.
Anything else will be interpreted as approval of the murder of journalists.
In June the Los Angeles Press Club bestowed Raif Badawi with the 2018 Daniel Pearl Award for Courage and Integrity in Journalism, accepted by his wife Ensaf Haidar.
A Free Press is the Pillar of Democracy. #NotTheEnemy
The Board of Los Angeles Press Club