On 5 October 2018, the Turkish authorities have reported that 59-year old Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi was likely murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week. Khashoggi, who visited the Saudi diplomatic mission on 2 October 2018 in relation to his marriage plans, is reported to have never left the building.
Turkish officials reportedly claim that Khashoggi was tortured and murdered.
The Saudi authorities have imposed a severe crackdown on dissenting voices at home, where journalists and activists are increasingly facing legal harassment and prison sentences. Khashoggi sought self-exile to the US in 2017.
Director of ARTICLE 19 Middle East and North Africa, Saloua Ghazouani Oueslati commented:
“While the facts of this case are still unclear, both the Turkish and Saudi governments have an appalling record when it comes to protecting the rights of journalists. In both countries, journalists are routinely harassed and imprisoned for criticising their governments. The murder of a journalist within a diplomatic mission would set a new human rights low for the Saudi regime.”
“ARTICLE 19 demands an independent investigation into Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance and alleged murder, with a view to bringing to trial, before impartial and independent tribunals, both perpetrators and instigators.”
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