Activist Tawakkol Karman ‘bullied’ by Saudi Arabian media

New Delhi: Yemeni human rights activist Tawakkol Karman has alleged that she has faced “widespread bullying” by Saudi Arabian media after she was picked as one of the 20 initial members in the newly constituted Facebook Oversight Board.

“I am subjected to widespread bullying and a smear campaign by Saudi’s media & its allies,” wrote Karman in a Twitter post on Monday.

“What is more important now is to be safe from the saw used to cut #jamalkhashoggi’s body into pieces,” added the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, referring to the killing of the Saudi journalist.

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The Facebook Oversight Board got embroiled in controversy ever since Karman’s name was announced last week as one of the 20 initial members of the board.

The board said it will review whether content is consistent with Facebook and Instagram’s policies and values, as well as a commitment to upholding freedom of expression within the framework of international norms of human rights.

It has committed itself to making decisions based on these principles, and the impact on users and society, without regard to Facebook’s economic, political or reputational interests.

The decisions of the board will be binding on Facebook, unless implementation could violate the law.

But Karman’s inclusion in the board courted controversy because of her past link to Yemen’s Islah party, the Muslim Brotherhood’s arm in Yemen.

The Brotherhood is banned in some Middle East countries as it is considered as a terrorist organisation by several governments.

Known for her role in promoting non-violent change in Yemen during the 2011 Arab Spring, Karman co-founded the non-profit “Women Journalists Without Chains”.

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