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The New Arab

UK investigating attack on Saudi dissident after Khashoggi murder

Ghanem's satirical YouTube show attracts millions of viewers [Twitter]

Date of publication: 29 October, 2018

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A popular Saudi video-blogger has said that British police have launched a high-level investigation into an attack against him in the streets of London by "agents" from Riyadh.

A popular Saudi video-blogger has said that British police have launched a high-level investigation into an attack against him in the streets of London by "agents" from Riyadh.

Ghanem al-Dosari told The New Arab on Monday that the recent murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi may have prompted police to probe the incident.

The dissident satirist, whose social media mockery of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman gets millions of hits, was followed and beaten by two Saudi "operatives" in central London just over a month before Khashoggi was killed.

"I think after what happened to Jamal the police are now taking it seriously. I think they believe the men are linked to the Saudi government," Dosari said.

Dosari said that following Khashoggi's murder by Saudi operatives in the kingdom's Istanbul consulate earlier this month, he does not feel safe in Britain.

"If nothing happens to my attackers, they will continue to attempt to silence critics of the Saudi government," he said, adding that he will "absolutely" continue to produce content ridiculing Prince Mohammed.

London police confirmed that a criminal investigation has been launched into the attack on Dosari - which took place in broad daylight opposite London's Harrods emporium landmark and was captured on video.

Khashoggi's death has caused such a wave of fear among exiles that some are now cautious of even visiting their country's overseas missions.

Dosari, who has political asylum in Britain, said the current level of oppression in Saudi Arabia has never been so abysmal.

"It is the worst and it is only going to get worse. They used to do these attacks in secret but now they are doing publicly. They think they can get away with it," he said.

Khashoggi, a journalist who also had criticised powerful Crown Prince Mohammed, was murdered after entering the consulate on October 2 to obtain paperwork.

Turkish security officials have alleged he was killed and dismembered by a 15-man team sent from Saudi Arabia to silence him.

Dosari has said that Saudi officials have also attempted to lure him into the London embassy.

"If we happen to walk inside, I think we will end up like what Khashoggi has suffered," he said.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has "strongly urged" Saudi Arabia to cooperate with the Turkish investigation into the murder of Khashoggi.

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