Contrary to social media claims, Meghan Markle magazine cover was NOT censored in Saudi Arabia

A combination photo shows the alleged blacked-out magazine cover of the Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle which some social media users suggested was in saudi newsstands (left) against a picture taken yesterday by Arab News photographer showing showing that the magazine is available and uncensored across the kingdom. (Arab News)
Updated 13 July 2018

Contrary to social media claims, Meghan Markle magazine cover was NOT censored in Saudi Arabia

  • Arab News visits newsstands across the kingdom, verify current issue of The Economist’s 1843 is widely available and uncensored

JEDDAH: Contrary to some claims on social media, the Saudi Ministry of Media did not instruct the censoring of a magazine cover showing the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, in a sleeveless dress.
Images of the latest issue of The Economist’s 1843, a bi-monthly culture magazine — allegedly shot at a newsstand in Saudi Arabia — where Markle’s dress was blacked out with a marker-pen have been circulating on social media platforms and via WhatsApp since yesterday. The images have raised questions given that this form of censorship — which remained in place for decades — is no longer practiced in the kingdom.
For its part, Arab News visited several newsstands in both Riyadh and Jeddah and verified that this particular issue of 1843 is available and uncensored. Employees working at various bookstores and supermarkets in both cities confirmed they have not received or sold the censored version of the magazine.


“The images on social media maybe photo-shopped or if they are real, might be an individual effort by a shop keeper. But we certainly didn’t get it (the magazine) with a censored cover here,” said an employee at the Sari street branch of Jarir Bookstore in Jeddah.
Meanwhile, a source within the Saudi Ministry of Media declined to comment on the story.
“The pictures you have taken of newsstands across the kingdom showing that this particular magazine is widely available — and clearly uncensored — speak for themselves,” he told Arab News.
“People should be careful of fake news and verify facts from credible sources and professional journalists,” he added.

 


Missing Pakistani TV reporter is found after 72 hours

Updated 24 October 2020

Missing Pakistani TV reporter is found after 72 hours

  • Geo's bureau chief in Karachi said Ali Imran Syed had contacted his wife to say that he had reached his mother’s home
  • Earlier police registered the journalist’s disappearance as an “abduction” case without naming suspects

ISLAMABAD: A reporter working for Pakistan’s leading Geo News television who had gone missing in the southern port city of Karachi has been found, family and colleague said Saturday.
Geo bureau chief in Karachi, Fahim Siddiqi, said Ali Imran Syed had contacted his wife by phone to say that he had reached his mother’s home.
Earlier police registered the journalist’s disappearance as an “abduction” case without naming suspects.
The reporter left home late Friday evening telling his wife that he would be back in half an hour before disappearing for 72 hours.
Recently there have been several cases of Pakistani journalists being detained or abducted for several hours, before being released.
Azhar Abbas, head of the Geo TV, earlier said he has contacted provincial and federal authorities “to help trace the missing reporter” and “ensure his safety.”
Siddiqi said the reporter’s abduction may have been related to his work on recent political events, including the arrest of an opposition leader who is the son-in-law of former premier Nawaz Sharif.
Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari said in a tweet no one should “disappear in a democracy”.
Pakistani media has been facing renewed pressure from state agencies that have sought to control the topics covered by the media and even restrict the selection of guests for TV talk shows.
Journalists and press freedom advocates often accuse the Pakistani military and security agencies of pressuring media outlets to prevent critical coverage.
In December last year, a Karachi based reporter with the Express Tribune newspaper, Bilal Farooqi, was arrested on charges of spreading hateful content against the country’s military on social media.
In July, Matiullah Jan was briefly detained. Jan is known for criticism of Pakistan’s military and security agencies.

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