Saudi officials not happy about low rank on Press freedom index

A year after Jamal Khashoggi’s death, pfficials in Saudi Arabia privately complained about the kingdom’s low ranking on an influential press freedom index.

Campaigners at Reporters Without Borders (RSF) revealed that it held the confidential meetings in April to advocate for the release of 30 jailed journalists, an act that the press freedom group said was the “only way” for Saudi Arabia to assume the G20 presidency next year. The RSF staffers negotiated with Adel al-Jubeir, the minister of state for foreign affairs, and public prosecutor Saud al-Mojeb, and said that over the course of meetings over three days, several Saudi officials raised concerns and dismay at Saudi’s low ranking on RSF’s press freedom index, where it is ranked 172 out of 180. 

The officials seemed especially vexed at their proximity to North Korea, RSF said.