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Saudi journalist banned from writing in state-owned newspaper

Jamal Khashoggi said that his weekly column in Al-Hayat newspaper had been banned after a decision taken by the newspaper
Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi (AFP)

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi declared on Monday his intention to continue writing despite being banned from publishing in the Saudi-owned Al-Hayat Newspaper.

Khashoggi said that the decision to ban his weekly column had been taken by the newspaper which is owned by Saudi prince Khaled bin Sultan.

Translation: I won't stop writing. This is temporary. I will return to writing in Al Hayat - it is my home. I thank them and appreciate the circumstances that have forced them to do this. 

Translation: The decision was taken by the publisher. I spoke to his highness a little while ago. We agreed not to write anything that spews hate, but we disagreed with regards to the Brotherhood. I wish him all the best.

Translation: Freedom is holding onto what you believe in. Even if you are silenced or put in prison. You lose it [your freedom] when you say what others want you to say, even if you're living in a luxurious palace. 

Saudi authorities had banned Khashoggi from writing in newspapers, appearing on TV and attending conferences, according to reports since December of last year. His articles started reappearing after the ban was lifted at the end of last month.

The move to ban his columns came after Khashoggi’s remarks during a presentation he made at a Washington think-tank on 10 November in which he was critical of Donald Trump’s ascension to the US presidency.

An official Saudi source was cited by the Saudi News Agency at the time as saying that Khashoggi did not represent the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in his interviews or statements.

Before the ban, Khashoggi had a weekly column in Al-Hayat newspaper appearing every Saturday for almost five years. 

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