Crown pariah

The Africa Report - - BRIEFING -

Global at­ten­tion turned to Riyadh af­ter the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment be­gan in­ves­ti­gat­ing the dis­ap­pear­ance of Saudi jour­nal­ist Ja­mal Khashoggi from the king­dom’s con­sulate in Istabul. Khashoggi was a strong critic of the lead­er­ship of Crown Prince Mo­ham­mad Bin Sal­man (MBS), who or­dered the im­pris­on­ment and tor­ture of busi­ness lead­ers as part of an anti-cor­rup­tion cam­paign. In Oc­to­ber, re­ports emerged that 15 Saudis took two char­tered planes to Is­tan­bul to ei­ther kill Khashoggi or take him back to Saudi Ara­bia to be im­pris­oned – or worse. Turk­ish sources re­ported that there were tapes of the jour­nal­ist scream­ing as each of his fin­gers was cut off. The MBS ad­min­is­tra­tion ini­tially de­nied any in­volve­ment in Khashoggi’s dis­ap­pear­ance be­fore ad­mit­ting that he died “in a fist fight” within the con­sulate. Both state­ments were widely dis­missed as coun­tries be­gan pulling out of in­ter­na­tional events to be held in Saudi Ara­bia and US leg­is­la­tors threat­ened sanc­tions. At risk are more than $100bn in US arms deals and the pos­si­bil­ity that Riyadh could try to use its oil pro­duc­tion as a weapon.

Protesters out­side the Saudi em­bassy in Wash­ing­ton DC

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