Media owner Jeff Bezos snapped laughing with Saudi prince accused of having a journalist murdered

Jeff Bezos
James Wright

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who owns the Washington Post, was snapped laughing with Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman in March:

Bezos is pictured with the same Saudi prince whose regime journalists and the Turkish government believe has murdered a Washington Post contributor.

Jamal Khashoggi entered a Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain official recognition that he’s divorced his ex-wife. Khashoggi’s Turkish fiancée waited outside for 11 hours, but the dissident journalist reportedly never returned.

Turkish officials insist that’s because a 15-man Saudi hit squad murdered him. They say they have “concrete proof”, although they haven’t yet provided any. Saudi Arabia said the allegations were “baseless”. Meanwhile, journalists familiar with Khashoggi are treating a Saudi-planned murder as the most likely story. Middle East Eye editor and former Guardian chief foreign writer David Hearst called it “a murder that comes straight out of a scene of Pulp Fiction“.

A dictatorship entrenched in the West

Saudi Arabia has long run a murderous regime that also uses ‘anti-terror’ legislation to jail human rights defenders. In 2014-15, three dissident Saudi princes went missing in one year. Addressing the alleged murder of Khashoggi, the Washington Post has said that:

If the crown prince does not respond with full cooperation, Congress must, as a first step, suspend all military cooperation with the kingdom.

A major problem is that the Saudi kingdom is entrenched in Western governments, corporations and the media. UK, US, French and other Western companies sell Saudi Arabia arms and buy their oil. The Guardian and other media outlets have accepted money from the Saudi government and run propaganda ads on its behalf. And the UN has implicated the UK government in war crimes for supporting the Saudi-led coalition desecrating Yemen.

In 2016, the Saudi Arabian government invested $3.5bn in Uber. And the crown prince has pledged $45bn to an investment fund for Silicon Valley and other tech ventures.

Bezos and the Saudi prince

Then there’s Bezos who, along with other tech leaders, met bin Salman in March. They discussed business opportunities for Amazon in the Saudi kingdom.

So far, it’s unclear whether the alleged murder of one of Bezos’s own contributing journalists will impact Amazon’s profit plans with Saudi Arabia. The world’s richest man doesn’t yet appear to have released a statement on the matter.

The influence of the tyrannical Saudi regime across the West, however, is very concerning. And if the murder allegation is true and Saudi Arabia gets away with more ‘disappearances’, these are dark days for basic human freedoms.

Get Involved!

– Write to your local MP about British military assistance to Saudi Arabia.

– Support Campaign Against Arms Trade.

– Read more of the Canary’s coverage of Saudi Arabia and the crisis in Yemen.

– Join The Canary, so we can keep holding the powerful to account.

Featured image via MotivationHub/ YouTube

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James Wright