Jeff Bezos – owner of the Washington Post, and his business in Saudi Arabia and in the Middle East is being targeted by Saudis who are reportedly unhappy with the manner in which the killing of its journalist Jamal Khashoggi had bene covered in the news paper.
On Monday, social media was abuzz with calls for boycotting of Amazon and its regional subsidiary by thousands of social media users in Saudi Arabia backing such calls. Apart from founding Amazon, Bezos is still the largest shareholder of the largest e-retailer in the world.
Khashoggi was Saudi national residing in the United States and a columnist for the Washington Post and he was went missing last month after he had gone into the Saudi consulate in the Turkish capital of Istanbul. After much global outcry over the issue, Saudi Arabia later confirmed that Khashoggi had in fact been killed inside the Saudi consulate allegedly by Saudi security men.
Through repeated news articles, information about Khashoggi’s death and justice for his killers was being demanded by the Post. Last month, the newspaper described the version of the killing from Saudi Arabai as a “coverup”.
In its latest tirade over the incident, an op-ed by the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was published by Post where he wrote: “The order to kill Khashoggi came from the highest levels of the Saudi government.”
The section of enraged Saudis were offended about what they believe is a malicious “media campaign” being run to tarnish the image of Saudi Arabia and to derail and attempt of the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to modernize the country. The Saudis have resorted to twitter and a number of other local social media for this purpose.
The Post engages in “consistently publishing articles that are defaming”, tweeted a Saudi journalist, Bandar Otyf, for his 105,000 followers.
“Let’s defend our nation … boycott Amazon to send a message to its owner so he is aware of the scale of the damage,” Otyf added.
While not having a huge business investment or business interest in Saudi Arabia and in the Middle East, Amazon did acquire the leading e-commerce website of the region based in Dubai Souq.com to increase its reach.
One of the top trending hashtags in Saudi Arabia on Monday was “Boycott Amazon and Souq.com”. the tweet gad been mentioned in over 8000 tweets in just a few hours.
“It’s not acceptable, the [Amazon] owner is the same owner of the paper that attacks our nation and its leaders,” said another Twitter user.
Bezos himself has not spoken out about the murder so far but Saudi Arabian authorities have been kept under constant pressure by the Post, under the editorship of Fred Ryan.
On Thursday, Ryan said that Khashoggi was “lured into a death trap.” And in order to “increase awareness of the importance of an independent press”, an initiative — the Press Freedom Partnership was also announced by him.
(Adapted form Money.cnn.com)