Concern grows for missing writer
Saudi Arabia under pressure from Turkey, UN, US and media
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. |
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.