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Netflix criticized for yanking Patriot Act episode in Saudi

Last Updated Jan 2, 2019 at 7:45 am PDT

The Netflix logo is displayed on an iPhone in Philadelphia on July 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Netflix is facing criticism for pulling an episode from viewing in Saudi Arabia of American comedian Hasan Minhaj’s “Patriot Act” that criticized the kingdom’s crown prince.

Minhaj used his second episode to lambast the prince over the killing of writer Jamal Khashoggi and the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

The Financial Times first reported that Netflix yanked the episode from streaming in Saudi Arabia last week after Saudi officials informed the streaming service that its content violated cyber-crime laws in the kingdom.

Rights group Amnesty International said Saudi Arabia’s censorship of Netflix is “further proof of a relentless crackdown on freedom of expression.”

Netflix told the FT it strongly supports artistic freedom worldwide and only removed the episode after it received a legal request and to comply with local law.