United Nations rights experts urge investigation into disappearance of Saudi Arabia journalist
- Author: Leroy Wright Oct 11, 2018,
Oct 11, 2018, 16:54
Turkish authorities will investigate inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul after the mysterious disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Turkish officials suspect a Saudi hit squad killed and dismembered Khashoggi. "We believe that the murder was premeditated and the body was subsequently moved out of the consulate", one of the two Turkish officials told Reuters. Among them was a forensics expert, it says. So far, senior USA administration officials have had little to say publicly on the matter, which is concerning.
The Saudis have called the allegations "baseless", insisting Khashoggi left the building through an exit that wasn't the main building. Rights office spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said it would be "truly shocking" if reports of Khashoggi's death are confirmed.
Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to get documents for his forthcoming marriage.
He has not been heard of since.
Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said the Vienna Convention allowed for consulates to be searched by the authorities of the host country with the consent of the mission chief.
"We are hoping against hope that Mr Khashoggi is unharmed and will soon return to his writing desk", the Post said. "It is not possible for us to remain silent regarding such an occurrence, because it is not a common occurrence", he said.
Turkish officials made the accusation on Sunday.
Both Turkey and Saudi Arabia are allies of the United States.
TRT World's Ben Tornquist reports.
Amid more reports emerging on the curious case of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, fingers were pointed toward the executives of huge USA companies that are becoming more close to Saudi Arabia and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) in business ties. Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has demanded Riyadh to prove his departure from the building.
The prince said the Saudis were "very keen to know what happened to him", saying his understanding was that Mr Khashoggi left "after a few minutes or one hour".
In his first remarks about the disappearance, President Trump told reporters Monday afternoon that he was concerned. "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". Turkey has been given permission to search the diplomatic post, an extraordinary development that shows the increasing worldwide pressure the kingdom faces over Khashoggi's disappearance. Turkish officials have said he was murdered there, while Saudi Arabia says he safely left the building.
"The condition of the lost journalist, details on him and who is responsible for this will be uncovered", Omer Celik said. Khashoggi, a 59-year-old veteran journalist who has lived in self-imposed exile in the US since Prince Mohammed's rise to power, disappeared October 2 while on a visit to the consulate to get paperwork done to be married to his Turkish fiancÃ©e.
"To do otherwise would betray those who languish in prison". Erdogan asked. "If a bird flew, if a mosquito appeared, these systems would catch them and (I believe) they (the Saudis) would have the most advanced of systems".
The US resident has written articles over the past year in self-imposed exile that were critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The BBC published on Monday an off-air conversation of last interview with disappeared Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
He noted 47 United States senators recently voted to ban arms sales to Saudi Arabia - four short of a majority.