The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today demanded the truth regarding the disappearance on 2 October of Saudi writer and political commentator Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul.
A former editor in chief of the Saudi daily El Watan and a commentator for various international media, Khashoggi, who lived in self-imposed exile in Washington disappeared last Tuesday after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity to the Washington Post where Khashoggi wrote a column, Turkish investigators affirmed the journalist had never left the consulate and said they believed a 15-member hit-team from Saudi Arabia came to kill him, after CCTV showed unusual car movements in and out the consulate on the day of the disappearance.
Saudi Arabia has denied any responsibility, declaring Khashoggi had left the consulate soon after he arrived, but fell short of providing evidence.
“We are all anxious for news on Khashoggi’s fate", said Anthony Bellanger, IFJ General Secretary.
"While waiting for Turkey’s official investigation report, we call on the Saudi authorities to immediately release the images supporting their claims that he left the building"", he added.
Jamal Khashoggi had been critical of Saudi policies at home and abroad, particularly in Yemen, where the Saudi-led coalition is accused of having caused a grave humanitarian crisis. If Saudi Arabia's involvement is established, it would represent a serious escalation in crackdown against free speech.