Bezos tweets tribute to Khashoggi in wake of reports of Saudi phone hacking
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos posted a tribute to slain Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi on Wednesday in his first public message after reports linking a hack of his phone to Saudi efforts to affect coverage of the murder.
“#Jamal,” Bezos tweeted, along with a photo of the Amazon executive and Washington Post owner with Khashoggi’s fiancée at a memorial outside of the Saudi Consulate in Turkey, where Khashoggi was murdered.
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) January 22, 2020
The Guardian first reported on Tuesday that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman gained access to Bezos’s phone via a WhatsApp message.
Two United Nations human rights experts on Wednesday linked that hacking to an effort to influence the Post’s coverage of Khashoggi’s murder.
Agnes Callamard, U.N. special rapporteur on summary executions and extrajudicial killings, and David Kaye, U.N. special rapporteur on freedom of expression, called for further investigation into the issue.
“The information we have received suggests the possible involvement of the crown prince in surveillance of Mr. Bezos, in an effort to influence, if not silence, The Washington Post’s reporting on Saudi Arabia,” they said in a statement, not revealing the source of the information.
Saudi Arabia has denied the hacking.
“Recent media reports that suggest the Kingdom is behind a hacking of Mr. Jeff Bezos’ phone are absurd,” the country’s U.S. embassy tweeted. “We call for an investigation on these claims so that we can have all the facts out.”
Amazon has not responded to requests for comment on the alleged hacking.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) on Wednesday sent a letter to Bezos asking for information related to the alleged hack, including reports, if any, from cybersecurity experts retained by Bezos who examined his phone.
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