Mar 15, 2021

NEW YORK (March 15, 2021) – On Thursday, March 18th at 12PM ET, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and the Human Rights Foundation (HRF), which produced THE DISSIDENT — a new documentary highlighting the labyrinth of deceit behind the high-profile murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi — are co-hosting a virtual panel to discuss the invisible digital threat placing press freedom and access to information at risk.

REGISTER HERE to attend the event.

Authoritarian regimes around the world, such as China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia, are increasingly using technology to spy on journalists, dissidents, and activists. From basic phishing emails to sophisticated malware, these methods violate personal privacy and endanger the lives of individuals who dare to stand up against dictators and freely express their opinions.

The conversation features Saudi activist, blogger, and close friend of Jamal Khashoggi, Omar Abdulaziz; THE DISSIDENT’s Oscar Award-winning director Bryan Fogel (Icarus); Al Jazeera journalist Ghada Oueiss; and Jonathan Rozen, CPJ Senior Africa Researcher. Panelists will unpack the most pressing questions about spyware: How is spyware used to silence dissidents and journalists? How is it falling into the hands of bad actors? How widespread is the danger? And how should concerned governments respond?

These topics are particularly important in the context of Saudi Arabia, which has been using elaborate spyware to track and silence critics of the regime. HRF is leading a global campaign to bring attention to the brutality of the Saudi regime in response to the murder of Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Khashoggi peacefully advocated for freedom of expression, democratic reforms, and universal human rights in Saudi Arabia but was brutally murdered on October 2, 2018 inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, on the direct orders of Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman.

As part of this campaign, HRF produced THE DISSIDENT, a critically-acclaimed documentary that features never-before-seen surveillance footage from inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the transcript of the recording of the murder itself, and unprecedented access to a wealth of damning information previously unavailable to the public.

THE DISSIDENT is available now for viewers to rent or own on Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, and Redbox on Demand.

REGISTER HERE to attend the event and receive a link to watch THE DISSIDENT.


The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that promotes and protects human rights globally, with a focus on closed societies. For interview requests of further comment, please email [email protected].