New York, October 6, 2018–The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on Saudi Arabia to immediately account for the whereabouts of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who has not been seen since entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. Multiple news outlets reported today that Turkish authorities, who have been investigating his disappearance and who spoke to the media on the condition of anonymity, believed that Khashoggi is dead and was killed inside the consulate.
“CPJ is alarmed by media reports that Jamal Khashoggi may have been killed inside the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul,” said CPJ Deputy Executive Director Robert Mahoney. “The Saudi authorities must immediately give a full and credible accounting of what happened to Khashoggi inside its diplomatic mission. The country has stepped up its repression of critical journalists in the past year at home. We hope this has not now spread abroad.”
Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post and a former editor-in-chief of the Saudi newspaper Al-Watan who writes critically about Saudi Arabia and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, entered the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul on Tuesday to complete paperwork and failed to emerge after the consulate officially closed. He had been living in self-imposed exile in the U.S. since 2017.
Saudi Arabia’s repression of journalists has intensified since Crown Prince Salman rose to power as the apparent heir to the king last year. CPJ recently documented a steadily increasing number of bloggers and journalists detained in unknown locations without charges since the start of what Saudi authorities term an anti-corruption campaign in September 2017.