Ghada Oueiss, a journalist with Al Jazeera, filed a lawsuit against Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and United Arab Emirates Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed alleging them of hacking her phone and leaking her private photos. Along with the crown princes, Oueiss also named American citizens and other officials from Saudi Arabia and UAE in the lawsuit.
Oueiss, who has been critical of the Saudi and UAE governments, made the announcement of the lawsuit on Wednesday. She accused Prince Salman and Prince Zayed of spreading her private photos with "false misogynistic claims" to malign her journalistic career. There are nearly two dozen defendants in Oueiss' lawsuit.
"The crown princes have ruled with the belief that with the right price or fear tactic they could buy or scare anyone from speaking up. They believed they were untouchable and could get a free pass for their authoritarian reigns," Oueiss wrote on Twitter, adding that they silenced their critics including Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The American defendants are Florida-based Sharon Collins and Hussam Al-Jundi, according to the Hill. The two allegedly were involved in "tortious acts" against the journalist, including posting stolen information from her phone and taking part in a "conspiracy" against her, the report added.
In July, Oueiss wrote an opinion piece in The Washington Post alleging that her phone was hacked and her pictures were stolen. One such photo stolen was Oueiss in a swimsuit. The picture — allegedly doctored to make her appear naked — was made viral on Twitter. According to Oueiss, the Twitter accounts of those who shared the photo displayed links to the Saudi Arabian and UAE crown princes.
According to Ouess' lawsuit, the hacking operation came after Khashoggi's killing at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul because began reporting on the case. The lawsuit stated that the Saudi and UAE governments were involved in a "premeditated attack, intended to destroy her reputation, personal life, and career."
Who is Ghada Oueiss?
Ghada Oueiss is a Lebanese journalist working with Al Jazeera since 2006. Among her other works, she is known for reporting about Gaza during Operation Cast Lead — was a three-week armed conflict between Gaza Strip Palestinian paramilitary groups and the Israel Defense Forces from December 2008 to January 2009.
Oueiss has been a vocal critic of Prince Salman, Prince Zayed and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. She has also criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for targeting Palestinians.