Brittany Pierce National News Nov 5, 2018 Uncategorized

Alma’s thoughts on the outside world: Freedom of speech and democracy


Due to the nature of journalistic writing, the Almanian was unable to publish a formal stance last week on the murder of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi. This column accompanies the news story covering the murder that was printed last week.

The Almanian stands in solidarity with journalists everywhere who fight to preserve the freedom of speech that is central to a democracy. The Almanian operates without censorship and firmly believes in the power of a newspaper. As we advance further into the digital age, the newspaper and print media will continue to withstand the test of time because of its key importance to democracy and freedom. An attack on one journalist is an attack on all of us.

As stated previously, Khashoggi was murdered on Oct. 2 inside the Saudi consulate for his writing that included critical dissenting opinions of the Saudi Arabian government.

Initially, the Saudi Arabian government tried to cover up the incident and denied having any knowledge of Khashoggi’s fate. Soon after, the Saudi Arabian government claimed first that Khashoggi died in an apparent fist fight inside the consulate and then that he died in a “botched” interrogation attempt.

Since then, audio recordings documenting Khashoggi’s final moments inside the consulate have been released to foreign governments. The recordings verified that he was tortured, dismembered and killed. It is unclear at this point whether he was dismembered before or after he was killed and his body has not been found. There are currently 18 suspects and his case is still being investigated.

Khashoggi’s case represents something greater than an isolated incident; it represents a threat to the freedom of the press and the freedom of speech as we know it.

We have seen this time and time again; powerful regimes rule their countries on the premise of fear and silence anyone who dares to dissent. As a result, Khashoggi has joined the list the ever-growing list of martyrs of free speech not long after 12 journalists were gunned down in the Charlie Hebdo shooting in 2015 in France for the satirical pieces that they published.

President Trump still has not issued a formal stance on the matter, but he did claim that it would be “foolish” for the United States to cancel its arms deal with Saudi Arabia because the life of one journalist is not worth as much as the profit from the arms deal. Find the rest of this article on

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