Friday, 23 August, 2019

Concerned about reports of Saudi journalist missing in Turkey

Holding a poster of missing Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi a man stands near the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul Friday Oct. 5 2018. Khashoggi a 59-year-old veteran journalist who has lived in self-imposed exile in the U.S. since Prince Mohammed's Journalist's Disappearance Forces Trump's Hand on Saudi Arabia
Patty Aguilar | 19 October, 2018, 06:00

A journalist is believed dead after entering a Saudi consulate in Turkey.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., a longtime critic of the Saudi government, went further.

Indication of those stakes came within four months of Trump taking office, when Saudi Arabia became his first destination on a presidential trip and he announced $110 billion in proposed arms sales.

Another police source told MEE on Saturday: "The consulate is surrounded by cameras, no evidence of Khashoggi leaving was recorded on them". Turkish prosecutors are already looking into the case. That team was sent "specifically for the murder", a person with knowledge of the Turkish investigation tells the Post.

However, there have been reports in the Arab media suggesting Khashoggi was abducted on the same day of his disappearance and evacuated from the other entrance of the Saudi regime consulate in Istanbul.

"We demand the global community to pressure Saudi Arabia and Mohammed bin Salman to tell us exactly what happened inside the consulate... and to tell us every detail of who was involved in this crime", Okda told AFP.

Trump, whose first overseas trip as USA president was to the kingdom and whose son-in-law Jared Kushner has close ties to Prince Mohammed, said Tuesday he had not yet talked to the Saudis about Khashoggi, "but I will be at some point".

The OHCHR comments were also echoed by Senior UN rights experts, Bernard Duhaime, Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression, David Kaye, and the UN Special Rapporteur on summary executions, Agnes Callamard.

The agreement came after Turkey's strongman leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan demanded that the Saudis prove that Khashoggi left the consulate alive.

Kurtulmus called the journalist's disappearance a "dire, grisly and scary event".

Late on Saturday, Turkish sources told Reuters that Turkish authorities believed Khashoggi had been killed inside the consulate last week, in what they described as the deliberate targeting of a prominent critic of the Gulf kingdom's rulers.

The crown prince told Bloomberg that the journalist was not inside the consulate and said he was ready to allow Turkish authorities to search the building.

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"We hope to have results very quickly", Erdogan said.

European Union foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini says the bloc stands side-by-side with the United States in urging authorities to clear up the journalist's disappearance in Turkey a week ago.

Mogherini was asked on Tuesday by The Associated Press about Khashoggi. "We are fully aligned with the United States on this, with the USA position on this". "God willing, we will not be faced with a situation we do not want".

Who is Jamal Khashoggi?

Saudi Arabia launched a modernisation campaign following Prince Mohammed's appointment as heir to the throne with moves such as lifting a ban on women driving.

The reporter, who was a former government advisor, was self-exiled in the USA in 2017 as he was afraid of a possible arrest, following his criticism on the decisions of Saudi Prince, Mohamed Ben Salman, and Riyadh's military intervention in Yemen.

Two Gulfstream jets carrying 15 Saudis landed at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport before dawn on the day last week that journalist Jamal Khashoggi entered the Saudi Consulate and vanished.

Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said Saudi authorities have notified Ankara that they were "open to cooperation" and would allow the consulate building to be searched.

The ministry didn't say when the premises would be searched. The picture bore a date and time stamp, as well as a Turkish caption saying that Khashoggi was arriving at the consulate.

Kislakci also alleged, based on conversations with officials he did not name, that Khashoggi was made to "faint", then was dismembered.

Khashoggi is a contributor to the The Washington Post and was twice editor-in-chief of Al-Watan, a Saudi newspaper.

It's been nearly a week since a prominent Saudi journalist vanished after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Khashoggi disappeared immediately afterward.

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