After a long wait, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia on the 19th of October 2018 conceded that missing Saudi Arabian journalist, Jamal Khashoggi is dead. According to the release, he died after a fight inside the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul where he had gone to process some documents. Laying credence to the story of his alleged murder and the dismemberment of his body that originally broke on the internet, nothing was said about his remains.
His murder which has thrown the press world into mourning and disbelief has shown that the war against free press is not over. Khashoggi has for a long time remained a thorn in the flesh of the Saudi Arabian government and their hypocrisy. He consistently criticized the government, so much so he was forced to flee the country on self-imposed exile in September 2017 due to constant threats to his life by the Saudi Arabian government. What the kingdom of Saudi Arabia needs to know is that his death will not end the criticism of their government, rather it will embolden more journalists.
The constant opposition to a free press is not exclusive to the Saudi Arabian government. Here in Nigeria, the APC led federal government continues to harass media houses in Nigeria through the National Broadcasting corporation and other law enforcement agencies, forcing others into total silence. This administration which came to power through the massive support it enjoyed from the media as an opposition party has embarked on an offensive against the media and it’s not ending soon. Last week, precisely on October 15, 2018 they sent a letter to DAAR communications, owners of AIT and Ray Power over a need to exercise caution in relation to its social media flagship program, Kakaaki Social.
In the letter the NBC warned the station against using some social media generated content on its program. While the NBC chose to hide under the usage of social media generated content, the fact of the matter is that the letter was issued due to the broadcast of the bribe taking video of the Kano state Governor which the NBC has allegedly banned television stations from showing as a means of suppressing the issue by the federal government.
The parallel between Khashoggi and Kakaaki Social is that government across the world, irrespective of their location have remained anti-press and will do everything possible to suppress the press. The good news is that, no one has won the war against free press rather it is the press that have successfully uprooted draconian regimes.