Con­cern grows for miss­ing writer

Saudi Ara­bia un­der pres­sure from Turkey, UN, US and me­dia

Cape Argus - - WORLD -

A PROM­I­NENT me­dia watch­dog called for an in­de­pen­dent international in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the dis­ap­pear­ance of dis­si­dent Saudi jour­nal­ist Ja­mal Khashoggi, as Turk­ish state me­dia re­leased footage aimed at in­creas­ing pres­sure on Saudi Ara­bia.

State broad­caster TRT pub­lished video show­ing Khashoggi en­ter­ing the Saudi con­sulate in Is­tan­bul, which friends and Turk­ish au­thor­i­ties say he never left. Other footage pur­port­edly shows Saudi planes and agents ar­riv­ing in Is­tan­bul.

Re­ports have sug­gested that a 15-mem­ber team went to Is­tan­bul from Saudi Ara­bia to tar­get Khashoggi.

TRT also aired footage of a black van leav­ing the con­sulate to the con­sul’s house be­fore go­ing back. “Turk­ish of­fi­cials want to know what’s in that van and where it is now,” TRT re­ported.

The re­lease of the footage comes one day af­ter Turkey said Saudi Ara­bia will al­low in­ves­ti­ga­tors to ac­cess its con­sulate in Is­tan­bul.

Khashoggi, 59, has not been heard from since he en­tered the con­sulate build­ing on Oc­to­ber 2 for some pa­per­work re­quired to marry his Turk­ish fi­ancée.

Saudi Ara­bia said Khashoggi left the con­sulate af­ter go­ing in and has de­nied an al­le­ga­tion lodged by some Turk­ish au­thor­i­ties that he was killed in­side.

Me­dia watch­dog Re­porters With­out Bor­ders (RSF) called for “an in­de­pen­dent international in­ves­ti­ga­tion to de­ter­mine as quickly as pos­si­ble what has happened to Khashoggi”.

“The tra­di­tion­ally opaque meth­ods used by Saudi Ara­bia to si­lence crit­i­cal jour­nal­ists con­sti­tute grounds for fear­ing the worst in the case of Ja­mal Khashoggi’s dis­ap­pear­ance,” said So­phie An­muth, the head of RSF’s Mid­dle East desk.

On Tues­day, three hu­man rights mon­i­tors for the UN called for an in­de­pen­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the jour­nal­ist’s dis­ap­pear­ance.

Khashoggi has lived in self-im­posed ex­ile in the US since last year and has been writ­ing a col­umn for The Washington Post.

The US-ed­u­cated jour­nal­ist has re­peat­edly crit­i­cised Saudi Crown Prince Mo­hammed bin Sal­man for sev­eral de­ci­sions, in­clud­ing the Saudi-led war in Ye­men and a diplo­matic spat with Canada af­ter Ot­tawa ex­pressed alarm at the im­pris­on­ment of a Saudi rights ac­tivist.

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump called the sus­pi­cious dis­ap­pear­ance “ter­ri­ble” and said US in­ves­ti­ga­tors were as­sist­ing Turkey in a probe of the case.

The US has called on the Saudi cap­i­tal Riyadh to sup­port “a thor­ough in­ves­ti­ga­tion” into the miss­ing jour­nal­ist. |

African News Agency (ANA)

A frame grab from a po­lice CCTV video, made avail­able yes­ter­day through Turk­ish News­pa­per Sabah, al­legedly shows Saudi cit­i­zens that Turk­ish po­lice sus­pect of be­ing in­volved in the dis­ap­pear­ance of Saudi jour­nal­ist Ja­mal Khashoggi, at Is­tan­bul’s Ataturk air­port, Turkey, on Oc­to­ber 2. | EPA-EFE |


A mem­bers of the Turk­ish Hu­man Rights As­so­ci­a­tion hold pic­tures of miss­ing Saudi Ara­bian jour­nal­ist, Ja­mal Khashoggi, dur­ing a demon­stra­tion in front of the Saudi Ara­bian con­sulate in Is­tan­bul, Turkey.

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