When journalist Jamal Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2nd to obtain paperwork for his upcoming wedding, he was strangled in a premeditated attack, Istanbul’s chief prosecutor confirmed.
His body went missing, and it was later discovered that his corpse was dismembered and destroyed.
“[The Saudi suspects] got rid of the body by dissolving it [in acid]. According to the latest information we have, the reason they cut up the body is it was easier to dissolve it.
“They aimed to ensure no sign of the body was left,” Yasin Aktay, friend to Khashoggi and adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, said.
“Killing an innocent person is one crime, the treatment and extent of what was done to the body is another crime and dishonour.”
Khashoggi, a contributor to the Washington Post, openly criticised Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, stating the kingdom will never become a democracy under his rule.
After frequently challenging the Saudi government, Khashoggi fled Saudi Arabia fearing for his safety.
In his debut article for The Washington Post in September 2017, the self-exiled Khashoggi wrote: “…about 30 people were reportedly rounded up by authorities, ahead of the crown prince’s ascension to the throne… The effort represents the public shaming of intellectuals and religious leaders who dare to express opinions contrary to those of my country’s leadership.
“Several others, myself included, are in self-exile and could face arrest upon returning home.”
Saudi Arabia spent weeks denying the attack on Khashoggi, maintaining that he left the consulate, still alive, of his own will on October 2nd.
But prior to entering the consulate, Khashoggi instructed his fiance, Hatice Cengiz, to wait for him nearby the consulate and to get help if he did not return.
Saudi officials reported that 18 people were identified as taking part in the operation, and were subsequently arrested.
15 men were sent to Istanbul from Saudi Arabia for the purposes of the attack, leading U.S. officials to believe the operation was carried out with the crown prince’s approval.
“It’s inconceivable that an operation using royal guards, other court officials, and the consulate was not authorized by the crown prince,” Bruce Riedel, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told The Post.
Cengiz penned a piece for The Washington Post in which she called on the international community, specifically the United States and its foundations in liberty and justice for all, to “bring [Khashoggi’s] killers to justice” despite political rank.
“Above all, [Jamal] championed goodness and decency. He helped us understand the complex relations of the Middle East, but he always put the lives and rights of its people first. Now in death, the principles for which he so passionately fought in life have been brought into the limelight. Democracy, freedom and human rights,” Cengiz wrote.
“As we witness the international outrage at his killing, the perpetrators should know that they can never erase his vision for his beloved country. They have only emboldened it.”
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