October 24, 2007 / 11:46 AM / 10 years ago

Saudi Arabia bans Forbes issue over king's wealth

<p>Saudi King Abdullah (C) salutes an honour guard upon his arrival to King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) ground breaking ceremony in Jeddah October 21, 2007. REUTERS/Ali Jarekji</p>

RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia has banned the latest issue of the Arabic-language edition of Forbes magazine for an article about the wealth of the king and other Arab leaders, its managing editor said on Wednesday.

“The reason was a two-page report on the wealth of 15 ruling dynasties, seven of which are Arab,” Refaat Jaafar, managing editor of Dubai-based Forbes Arabia, told Reuters.

“This sort of ban is counterproductive.”

He said the Saudi distribution company was told about the ban on Tuesday.

“Instead of ripping out the pages of the report, the authorities decided to ban the magazine altogether,” said one government official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Officials at the information ministry could not immediately comment on the ban.

The report ranked King Abdullah third, behind the rulers of Brunei and the United Arab Emirates.

Saudi authorities have ordered columns by Khalid al-Dakhil, a prominent Saudi analyst and university lecturer, to be ripped out of Forbes Arabia twice so far this year.

Authorities in the conservative kingdom also tear out pages from newspapers and magazines before they hit newsstands if they contain pictures deemed indecent.

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