USA senators trigger human rights probe over missing Saudi journalist

Yolanda Curtis
October 11, 2018

On Wednesday, the Post published a column by Khashoggi's fiancée, Hatice Cengiz. "Our expectation is that in making your determination you will consider any relevant information, including with respect to the highest ranking officials in the government of Saudi Arabia".

Boot told Lemon, "If these reports are accurate, they lured (Khashoggi) into their consulate in Istanbul on the soil of a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation country and killed and dismembered him".

"We need to look at an escalating list of actions that we can take in response to what the Saudis have done, assuming that that's proved to be true", Shaheen said.

"That would be a very sad thing and we'll probably know in the very short future", Trump said.

Rubio is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which has called for an investigation into whether Saudi Arabia should face human rights sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act.

"I think that would be hurting us", he said.

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The case surrounding Jamal Khashoggi, the missing Washington Post columnist who disappeared after entering a Saudi consulate in Istanbul, raised more concerns after mounting evidence suggested he was murdered. Violence against journalists across the globe is a threat to freedom of the press & human rights.

"In both calls they asked for more details and for the Saudi government to be transparent in the investigation process".

"This is a bad situation", Trump told reporters, adding that he would like to invite Khashoggi's fiancee to the White House.

The US peace group Code Pink mounted a protest in front of the Saudi Embassy in Washington Wednesday, brandishing signs saying "Where is Jamal Khashoggi?" and "Khashoggi: Another Victim of Saudi Violence".

A former USA intelligence official said the details in the intercepts do not indicate any intention to harm Khashoggi. For us, but especially for Jamal, it was particularly significant.

Khashoggi had sought to become a USA citizen after living in self-imposed exile since previous year, fearing repercussions for his criticism of the prince, Cengiz wrote. The Times' report said, by a team of agents. "Silence, denials and delays are not acceptable. Khashoggi was a U.S. resident", it added.

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Khashoggi, a former Saudi government advisor, had fled Saudi Arabia last September and had been living in self-imposed exile in the United States, where he had applied for citizenship.

He has been critical of some policies of the crown prince and Riyadh's intervention in the war in Yemen. A senior Turkish official told the Times that "Ankara hoped that Washington and the worldwide community would take the lead in challenging Saudi Arabia".

"When I hear of the arrest of a friend who did nothing that (deserved being) arrested, it makes me feel I shouldn't go", he told the BBC.

Saudi Arabia has called the allegation "baseless" but has offered no proof that Khashoggi left the consulate alive, nor has Turkey produced evidence that he was killed inside the diplomatic outpost.

On Wednesday, Turkish television released CCTV footage of him entering the consulate.

According to a Washington Post report on Tuesday, US intelligence officials intercepted communications from Saudi officials discussing a plan to capture Khashoggi. According to some reports, Ankara is considering the options of recalling its ambassador from Riyadh and expelling the Saudi envoy if the Saudis fail to provide a satisfactory explanation on Khashoggi's fate "within several days". "We don't have any information on that", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters Tuesday.

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The case is also threatening the strong relationship the Trump administration has built with Prince Mohammed, who wants to turn the oil-rich conservative kingdom into a hub for innovation and reform.

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