Jamal Khashoggi Murdered in Consulate


Lindsay Cook, Reporter

On October 2, Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared shortly after arriving in Turkey’s Saudi Arabian consulate. Khashoggi had previously worked as an adviser for the Saudi crown and had been a prominent journalist before moving to the United States. He was well-known for his frequent criticism of his home country’s politics and government in both American and Saudi Arabian newspapers. The Washington Post noted that his family members, including Turkish fiance Hatice Cengiz, were apprehensive about his return to Saudi Arabia, given his self-imposed exile from the country in 2017, several years after a falling-out with the crown. His body has not been found, but the BBC reports Turkish authorities claim that they have audio tapes and other evidence to prove foul play.

The Saudi crown prince and other officials denied any involvement in the crime for two weeks after Khashoggi’s disappearance, and only after extensive external pressure from world leaders have finally acknowledged that the murder was premeditated, albeit by a “rogue operation.” The Turkish convoy insists that the Saudi Arabian government was involved, pointing to evidence that has arisen in the past few weeks that they had attempted to lure Khashoggi from his home in Virginia with promises of employment.

The murder of Jamal Khashoggi is part of a larger, often unmentioned statistic–according to the nonprofit Committee to Protect Journalists, 849 journalists have been killed since early 1992. This includes only those in which motive has been confirmed. If those in which motive is unconfirmed are included, the number rises to 1324 deaths.

President Trump supported the initial statement by the Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammed bin Salman despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary in a disturbing bid to disregard the safety of media personnel, and only after several weeks revoked the visas of Saudi officials that, according to Vox, have been “implicated in the killing.”

When answering questions from the press about the murder of Khashoggi, President Trump noted that Saudi Arabia is planning on investing billions of dollars more into weapons sales from the US, remarking, “I don’t like the idea of stopping an investment of $110 billion dollars into the United States.”

Taylorsville social studies teacher Andrew Mcleran noted that, “The US plays a role in the necessity of supporting a free press and free speech all over the world, regardless of our current administration’s hostility toward it…Foreign [and] sovereign states will do what they want until the international community holds them accountable for their actions.”