Saudi ambassador told to explain Turkish journo's disappearance from Saudi consulate

April FrancisOct 07, 2018

The journalist, who writes opinion pieces for the Washington Post, has been critical of some policies of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Riyadh's intervention in the war in Yemen. Speaking to reporters at the presidential complex in Ankara, Ibrahim Kalin said Turkish authorities believed the journalist was still at the consulate. I want to know where Jamal is.

The Saudi Foreign Ministry said in a tweet that its Undersecretary for Political and Economic Affairs Adel Merdad held talks in Riyadh with Turkey's ambassador Erdogan Kok.

Khashoggi, a prominent commentator on Saudi affairs who writes for The Washington Post's Global Opinions section, has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since past year, when he left Saudi Arabia over concerns he would be arrested or prevented from traveling.

Khashoggi has not been seen since entering the Saudi consulate building on Tuesday where he was to receive an official document for his marriage.

Ties between Turkey and Saudi Arabia have been strained in the past year by a dispute over Qatar. "We are monitoring the situation closely, trying to gather more information".

The Washington Post, where he was a columnist, said it was "extremely concerned" about Khashoggi. Where is he? If he went home, no, I went to the house and didn't find him.

The State Department said it was aware of Khashoggi's disappearance and was seeking more information.

In an article written for the Post in September 2017, Khashoggi wrote: "When I speak of the fear, intimidation, arrests and public shaming of intellectuals and religious leaders who dare to speak their minds, and then I tell you that I'm from Saudi Arabia, are you surprised?" "We have reached out to anyone we think might be able to help locate him and assure his safety, including U.S., Turkish and Saudi officials". "I hope this issue will be resolved smoothly".

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Khashoggi's fiancee told AFP that there had been no news about the journalist.

He was famous for interviewing Osama bin Laden several times and also served as a media aide under Prince Turki al-Faisal, when the latter was Director General of the Saudi intelligence agency. The channel was on air for less than 11 hours before it was shut down.

Kalin raised concerns about the legality of the apparent detention, saying that Khashoggi's disappearance "has a dimension of global law".

Earlier this year, women's rights advocate Loujain al-Hathloul was arrested in the United Arab Emirates capital Abu Dhabi and deported to Saudi Arabia, where she has been jailed for months.

The Vienna-based International Press Institute wrote a letter to Saudi King Salman calling on the monarch to ensure Khashoggi's immediate release.

The Arab21 news website reported that the author paid a visit to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week, but was told by officials at the time to return at a later date to complete an application related to a family matter.

"If, as it claims, Saudi Arabia truly wishes to transition to a more open society, it will have to accept the fundamental rights of freedom of expression and freedom of the press", wrote Ravi R. Prasad, the institute's head of advocacy.

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