Jamal Khashoggi is Time's 2018 Person of the Year

Published December 11th, 2018 - 01:35 GMT
TIME's Person of the Year 2018 (Twitter)
TIME's Person of the Year 2018 (Twitter)

Time's 2018 Person of the Year has not been awarded to just one person, but murdered and imprisoned journalists including Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

Time calls the group 'The Guardians', which also includes the five members of staff at The Capital Gazette, Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, and Maria Ressa, CEO and executive editor of Rappler.

Khashoggi, a contributor to the Washington Post residing in the United States, was murdered after a visit to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to obtain paperwork ahead of his wedding to his Turkish fiancee.

The 59-year-old former Saudi insider was strangled before he was cut up into pieces by a team of 15 Saudis sent to Istanbul for the killing, according to Turkish officials.

There has been speculation that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman ordered the hit but Riyadh has absolved the de facto leader of any blame.

Khashoggi's remains have still not been found despite searches of the consulate, the Saudi consul-general's residence in Istanbul and two villas in northwestern Turkey.

Philippine journalist Ressa has been threatened with prison and closure of the news site she co-founded but she's fighting back.

The site, Rappler, has taken a critical stand on President Rodrigo Duterte's deadly anti-drug crackdown and now finds itself the target of grinding, unrelenting attacks from the authorities.

 

Ressa turned herself earlier this month to face one tax evasion charge, but could still face arrest on four other counts that she insists were crafted to bring the site to heel.

The charge carries up to 10 years behind bars.

Rappler has been among a clutch of Philippine news outlets that have questioned the methods of the president's signature crackdown, which police say has killed nearly 5,000 alleged dealers and addicts since 2016.

Rights campaigners say the true toll is triple that and could amount to crimes against humanity.

Yet, the site and its roughly 30 journalists, a majority of whom are women in their 20s, has kept publishing stories on the drug war.

Ressa insists the site is not anti-Duterte, saying it is just doing its job to hold the government to account.

In doing so it has invited a steady stream of online vitriol since Duterte came to power over two years ago.

Ressa's position at the head of the site meant getting, by her own estimate, up to 90 hate messages per hour online at one point toward the end of 2016.

 

This article has been adapted from its original source.


© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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