AL Hayat has now been banned for a second day…over a super-secret camel virus?
Riyadh • Saudi authorities banned London-based pan-Arab daily Al Hayat from sale in the kingdom on Monday and Tuesday because of its criticism of government ministries, a source at the paper said yesterday. He told Reuters the paper had rejected Ministry of Information “conditions” that included dropping columns by one of its Saudi writers. An Information Ministry official confirmed the two issues of Al Hayat had been banned but gave no more details. The columns by Abdelaziz Al Suwaid dealt with problems in the health system and the mysterious deaths of 2,000 camels this month. The agriculture ministry has blamed the deaths on foodstuffs and denied the presence of an infectious disease.
“The paper should protect its writers. I don’t think he went beyond red lines,” the journalist said, requesting anonymity. Al Hayat is owned by Saudi Prince Khaled bin Sultan, the Deputy Defence Minister and son of Crown Prince Sultan. The journalist said Al Hayat has submitted its Saudi edition to government censors since 2002. – Reuters