'Where Is Jamal?' Here's What to Know About Missing Washington Post Columnist Jamal Khashoggi
Prominent Saudi Arabian journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi mysteriously vanished earlier this week and has not been heard from since Tuesday, according to the Post.
Khashoggi was last seen entering the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul to obtain documents for his upcoming wedding, his fiancÃ©e told the Post. Saudi Arabia denied detaining him.
But on Wednesday, as Khashoggiâs lengthening absence raised fears that he is being held incommunicado, Turkeyâs Foreign Ministry summoned the Saudi ambassador to discuss the whereabouts of the journalist, who is well-known for criticizing the Saudi leadership.
âIt would be unfair and outrageous if he has been detained for his work as a journalist and commentator,â The Post said in a stateme nt. âWe hope that he is safe and that we can hear from him soon.â
The State Department has also requested information about Khashoggiâs disappearance.
With no sign of Khashoggi forthcoming, the Post published a blank space where his column would have run in Fridayâs print edition.
As the mystery deepens, hereâs what to know.
When did he go missing?
Khashoggi visited the Saudi consulate around 1:00 p.m. Tuesday to pick-up marriage documents, according to the Post. His fiancÃ©e, a Turkish national, called the police when the consulate closed. Khashoggi had not reemerged.
Turkey has said it believes Khashoggi is still inside the consulate. Saudi offi cials say otherwise.
Khashoggi, 59, is among the Arab worldâs best-known journalists and political commentators. He has lived in self-imposed exile in the U.S. since fleeing Saudi Arabia last year. As a Post contributor, he frequently covered the Saudi regimeâs repressive tactics, and was particularly critical of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a self-styled reformer who has arrested rivals and dissidents.
What has Saudi Arabia said about it?
In a statement, the Saudi consulate said it was cooperating with Turkish authorities to âuncover the circumstancesâ of Khashoggiâs âdisappearance.â
But Khashoggiâs fiancÃ©e contests this account. âIf this was true, where is he? â¦ I went to the house and didnât find him,â she told Reuters. âWhere is Jamal?â
The State Department said it is âclosely followingâ the case. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke with Mohammed bin Salman Wednesday, but a readout did not mention Khashoggi.
Calls for clarity
Human rights groups are demanding Saudi Arabia clarify Khashoggiâs whereabouts. The Committee to Protect Journalists called Khashoggiâs disappearance âa cause for alarm.â
âIf Saudi authorities surreptitiously detained Khashoggi it would be yet another escalation of Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salmanâs reign of repression against peaceful dissidents and critics,â Human Rights Watch Middle East director Sarah Leah Whitson said in a statement. âThe burden of proof is on Saudi Arabia to produce evidence for its claim tha t Khashoggi left the consulate alone, and that Saudi agents have not detained him.âSource: Google News Saudi Arabia | Netizen 24 Saudi Arabia