The US magazine honored the murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi as a “Guardian of Truth.”
By Trista Youssef
Rabat – Time magazine has honored Jamal Khashoggi and other endangered journalists reporting on the Philippines and Myanmar for defending truth in a decade when independent journalism is under attack.
Time’s editor in chief, Edward Felsenthal, wrote on the work of endangered journalists, “They are representative of a broader fight by countless others around the world—as of December 10, at least 52 journalists have been murdered in 2018—who risk all to tell the story of our time.”
A Myanmar court sentenced two Reuters journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, to 7 years in prison for reporting on the state military’s human rights abuses toward Rohingya Muslims.
The Philippine government targeted Philippine journalist Maria Ressa for her website’s critique of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. The government sued Ressa for tax evasion in an apparently politically motivated attempt to shut down her publication.
The staff of US publication Capital Gazette were also among the “guardians” Times honored, because the staff suffered a shooting that left five dead in June.
Time chose the journalists as Person of the Year “for taking great risks in pursuit of greater truths, for the imperfect but essential quest for facts that are central to civil discourse, for speaking up and speaking out.”
Jamal Khashoggi, whose death is widely speculated to have been ordered by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has brought international attention to Saudi Arabia’s poor human rights record.
Khashoggi’s death has also reshaped global alliances with the Saudi kingdom as politicians around the world are hesitant to maintain close relations with MBS.
Ironically, Time magazine named Mohammed bin Salman one of its “Most Influential People of 2018.” In an article for Time magazine, a Saudi Arabian women’s rights activist, Manal al-Sharif, praised MBS for lifting restrictions on women, challenging “the culture of corruption, and reining in religious police who choked us, literally and figuratively.”