The International Press Institute denounced the hacking of the phone of Al-Jazeera host Ghada Oueiss and the defamation campaign launched against her by Saudi social media accounts.
The body said in a statement, published on its website on Wednesday, that Oueiss and her Jordanian colleague in Al Jazeera, Ola Al-Fares, were both targeted.
The Institute’s statement came after concluding that Oueiss was subjected to a systematic online harassment campaign launched by Saudi social media accounts. There have also been attempts to hack her mobile phone.
An analysis conducted by Marc Owen Jones, researcher and professor at Hamad Bin Khalifa University in Qatar, found that the campaign, which resulted in more than 25,000 tweets and retweets within just 24 hours, was driven by several prominent Saudi Twitter accounts.
“I am still exposed to all kinds of intimidation, obscenity, fabrications, threats and rumours on social media as well as various attempts to penetrate my phone, my computer and my email although they do not carry any secrets,” Oueiss has previously said about the campaign launched against her.
According to the renowned Lebanese journalist, the campaign started after she reported that Saudi authorities had stolen the passport of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi’s from his home in Washington prior to his assassination in order to force him to return to the kingdom.