Washington Post publisher Fred Ryan on Friday released a statement criticizing President Joe Biden after his administration said that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has immunity from lawsuits.
The State Department wrote in a court filing this week that because Prince Mohammed, often referred to by his initials MBS, is the current head of a foreign government as prime minister of Saudi Arabia, he is immune to lawsuits including the one filed by the widow of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was a columnist for the Post.
Ryan said in a press release that by granting Prince Mohammed immunity, Biden "is failing to uphold America's most cherished values" and "granting a license to kill to one of the world's most egregious human rights abusers."
He added, "While legitimate heads of government should be protected against frivolous lawsuits, the Saudis decision to make MBS prime minister was a cynical, calculated effort to manipulate the law and shield him from accountability."
Ryan said that "by going along with the scheme, President Biden is turning his back on fundamental principles of press freedom and equality."
He concluded, "The American people — and those wrong by MBS in Saudi Arabia and around the world — deserve better."
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