Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance and murder at the hands of the Saudi regime, i.e. at the behest of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) himself, has set precedents in several ways.
First, MBS has made clear his zero-tolerance policy for disagreement of any sort. Up until this point, the Crown Prince has largely targeted Human and Women’s Rights activists on the pretext of treason. For example, Saudi feminist Loujain Al-Hathloul, an outspoken critic of the driving ban on women, was arrested on the grounds that she was a Qatari agent.
Khashoggi, however, did not embody the fiery passion of an activist. Many who knew him describe him not as a dissident, but a journalist who merely sought to exercise free speech and expose the truth, as any journalist would. Unlike Al-Hathloul and others, Khashoggi was not arrested on trumped-up charges, but murdered in cold blood without so much as a show trial.