Missing Saudi Journalist Causes Alarm Regarding Press Freedom

Oct 8, 2018
Originally published on October 10, 2018 10:22 am

Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi is a columnist for The Washington Post. But over the weekend, Turkish police said they believed that Saudi forces killed and dismembered Khashoggi inside their consulate in Turkey.

Khashoggi became a vocal critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (also known as MBS), who has tried to portray himself as a reformer.

From The New Yorker:

On Sunday, Yasin Aktay, an adviser to Turkish President Tayyip Recep Erdoğan, told Reuters that Turkey believes Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi consulate, adding that fifteen Saudis were allegedly involved in Khashoggi’s disappearance. Erdoğan told reporters that his government is investigating the event. “Entries and exits into the embassy, airport transits, and all camera records are being looked at and followed,” he told reporters. “We want to swiftly get results.” The U.S. State Department also said it is closely following the case. A Turkish colleague of Khashoggi’s told journalists, on Sunday, that the Turkish government advised him to “make your funeral preparation.” Khashoggi had been killed “in a barbaric way” and then dismembered, Turan Kışlakçı, who heads the Turkish-Arab Media Association, told the Associated Press. Another report claimed that his body had been taken back to Saudi Arabia.

MBS waved off the rumors in an interview with Bloomberg. He said, “we have nothing to hide.”

Khashoggi’s editor, Karen Attiah, weighed in on Twitter.

What happened to Jamal Khashoggi? How could his disappearance affect relations between Turkey and Saudi Arabia? And amid a troubling climate regarding press freedom, how does Khashoggi’s case raise the stakes?

Produced by Rupert Allman. Text by Gabrielle Healy.


Rob Mahoney, Deputy director, Committee to Protect Journalists

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