After days of stonewalling, Saudi Arabia has now admitted its involvement in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. But it remains unclear what led Prince Mohammed bin Salman to order the assassination or acquiesce to it. Commentators have seen in Khashoggi’s death a great political miscalculation by the prince.
Latest in freedom of expression
Editor’s Note: The hopes for democracy in the Middle East that flourished after the Arab Spring are now gone. Hope for positive change, however, rests on many of democracy's building blocks, such as the rule of law, civil society, and a free press. These too remain under siege in many countries. Sarah Yerkes, a visiting fellow with us in the Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings, details the troubling increase in media censorship in the Middle East and argues that such pressure is likely to backfire.