Saudis to critics: shut up or else

The Saudis are trying to suppress criticism, in Canada:

Saudi Arabia has hired lawyers to threaten Canadian broadcasters who dare to run a TV ad critical of Saudi conflict oil. . .

Alykhan Velshi, who runs EthicalOil.org, produced a 30-second TV ad comparing the treatment of women in Canada with the treatment of women in Saudi Arabia. . . Saudi Arabia doesn’t like criticism like that, though. They are a fascist state without a free press or any opposition political parties. And now they’ve hired one of the world’s largest law firms, a 2,600-lawyer monstrosity called Norton Rose, to threaten Canada’s media into silence, too.

Rahool Agarwal, one of the lawyers at Norton Rose, has been contacting broadcasters across Canada, threatening them if they air the ad. Already two networks have capitulated in the face of such threats, including CTV, Canada’s biggest private broadcaster. Agarwal has also threatened EthicalOil.org with a lawsuit, too. He won’t say for what — he clearly has no legal case. But the point is silencing dissent. And it’s working.

POSTSCRIPT: The primary culprit here is Saudi Arabia, of course, but Canada has to take some blame for allowing this to happen. If Canada had a better record viz a viz free speech, such threats as these would be less likely to work. As it is, every Canadian broadcaster has to worry about being hauled into a “human rights” commission.

(Via Instapundit.)

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