Saudi Arabia is hitting back at Washington Post for its relentless coverage of the killing of its columnist Jamal Khashoggi. But the anger has been directed at Washington Post’s owner Jeff Bezos and his e-commerce business, Amazon.
Bloomberg News reports that “Boycott Amazon” and “Boycott Souq” was dominating Twitter in Saudi Arabia for “several hours” on Sunday, and that participants shared images in which they deleted the Amazon app from their phones. Amazon owns Dubai-based Souq.com, the biggest e-commerce platform in the Middle East.
— د. خالد ع. الجميح (@DrKjomaih) November 5, 2018
The Washington Post's coverage of Khashoggi's death has highlighted the lack of accountability regarding the alleged perpetrators. Khashoggi, a U.S.-based Saudi journalist, was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. Saudi Arabia has given multiple explanations for his death. But those detained for the crime have direct links to Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. However, the kingdom has denied any role in Khashoggi's killing and maintained the narrative that it was a premeditated murder but given no further explanations.
On Friday, the Washington Post published an op-ed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who said there were still unanswered questions about Khashoggi's death.
"Where is Khashoggi’s body?" Erdogan wrote. "Who gave the order to kill this kind soul?"
"Unfortunately, the Saudi authorities have refused to answer those questions," he added.
Saudis have used Twitter and local media to denounce what they say is a "media campaign" designed to damage the kingdom's image and undercut Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's efforts to modernize the country.
"Let's defend our nation...boycott Amazon to send a message to its owner so he is aware of the scale of the damage," Saudi journalist Bandar Otyf tweeted, according to CNN, saying the Post "consistently publishes articles that are defaming."
Amazon and Jeff Bezos’ office have not commented on this development.