Murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancé, Hatice Cengiz has called for Saudi Arabia’s crown prince to be taken to task, saying, “It is essential that the crown prince, who ordered the brutal murder of a blameless and innocent person, punished without delay”. Her statement followed a US intelligence report having found that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had approved Khashoggi’s murder.
The BBC reports that MBS, as the Crown Prince is known, who is effectively the ruler, has denied any role in the killing of the journalist. Khashoggi was killed while visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, in 2018 to obtain papers allowing him to marry Cengiz. His body was dismembered. The remains were never found.
59-year-old Khashoggi had gone into self-imposed exile in the US in 2017 and wrote a monthly column for the Washington Post in which he criticized MBS’s policies. The BBC reports that the journalist, in his very first column for the paper, wrote that he feared being arrested in crackdown on dissent taking place under the supervision of the Crown Prince.
Cengiz said, “If the crown prince is not punished, it will forever… endanger us all and be a stain on our humanity.” She asked that world leaders’ distance themselves from the crown prince and that the Kingdom face punitive measures, such as sanctions. She added, “This will not only bring the justice we have been seeking…. but it could also prevent similar acts recurring,”
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden’s administration-imposed sanctions on a senior aide to the prince, as well as on others who it found to have played a role in Khashoggi’s death, but not on the prince himself. The report has been rejected by Saudi Arabia.
Umm Muhammed Umar