Thirty years after the “Satanic Verses” controversy, the transnational threat to freedom of speech and the press is more acute than ever. The recent murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi – likely orchestrated by Saudi Arabia – is a case in point. So far, the pressure has been on Washington to punish Saudi Arabia, but Justin Dell argues that this issue is too combustable to be left to bilateral relations. What is needed is a broader multilateral approach, first to holding Saudi Arabia responsible for Khashoggi’s murder, and then to uphold the universal values of freedom of speech and expression. Only then can some kind of justice be obtained without risking the further destabilization of the Middle East.
With the passing of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the political schisms within the Thai government leave an air of uncertainty over how much power the military will continue to seize. Will Thailand turn away from democracy and become an authoritative military state?