Saudi writer 'murdered' in consulate

Saudi writer 'murdered' in consulate

The source said that after entering the embassy Khashoggi was taken in a black Mercedes S-500 and a white minivan with four Saudi officials to Istanbul airport, where he was flown on a private jet to Dubai and then Riyadh, where he is now being held.

Turkey's state-run news agency, quoting police, has said 15 Saudi nationals arrived in Istanbul aboard two planes and were inside the consulate building when Khashoggi went missing. Saudi officials have denied the report and say they don't know the journalist's whereabouts.

The statement came out after reports published on Saturday night by various worldwide media, citing Turkish officials, alleged that Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul. "This is a horrific escalation in the crown prince's campaign to silence dissent, to silence any criticism, even the mildest of criticism, from Saudis at home or overseas", says columnist for The Intercept Mehdi Hasan, who is also host of "UpFront" at Al Jazeera English, where he interviewed Khashoggi earlier this year.

Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to get documents for his forthcoming marriage. "I hope we won't encounter an undesirable situation".

While Turkish officials will soon be able to enter the diplomatic compound, there is concern that potential evidence may be long gone.

Robert Pear, a former USA ambassador to Turkey, said the case could change the relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia.

Saudi officials meant to lure Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia, the Washington Post reported the source as saying, but it was unclear what they meant to do with him - and whether the USA ever warned Khashoggi of the threat he faced.

FILE - Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi speaks at an event hosted by Middle East Monitor in London, Sept. 29, 2018.

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Hatice Cengiz, a Turkish woman, wrote an op-ed Tuesday in The Washington Post, the newspaper which also regularly printed commentary by her missing fiancee, Jamal Khashoggi. Mr Khashoggi, 59, has more than 1.6 million Twitter followers and has written for the Washington Post opinion section.

The U.N. human rights office urged both Turkey and Saudi Arabia to investigate what it called the "apparent enforced disappearance" and possible murder of Khashoggi.

"We are not in a position to confirm these reports, but we are following them closely", the official said.

Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the US, Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, said claims Khashoggi had been killed or detained by Saudi authorities were 'absolutely false, and baseless, ' according to a statement provided to CNN.

"We have seen conflicting reports on the safety and whereabouts of prominent Saudi journalist and Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi", Pompeo said in an October 8 statement.

Khashoggi is a familiar face on political talk shows on Arab satellite television networks and used to advise Prince Turki al Faisal, former Saudi intelligence chief and ambassador to the United States and Britain. Erdogan has said he would await the results of an investigation.

"His criticism, voiced over the past year, most surely rankles Mohammed bin Salman, who was elevated to crown prince last year and has carried out a wide-ranging campaign to silence dissent while trying to modernize the kingdom", the Post editorial read. "It would be a violation of global law to harm, arrest or detain people at a diplomatic mission, he said, and noted that no such thing had ever happened in Turkey's history". These include ending all relationships with Iran and Turkey, ending support for the Muslim Brotherhood, and shutting down al-Jazeera, which has been highly critical of Saudi Arabia - things that are never going to happen.

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