Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

Saudi ruler ordered detention of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi, report says

Khashoggi case should not be politicized, says UN expert Report: U.S. Knew of Saudi Plan to Capture WaPo Columnist, Failed to Stop It
Freda Brock | 11 October, 2018, 21:57

Saudi Arabia faces unprecedented pressure over the fate of Jamal Khashoggi, the journalist who disappeared after entering its consulate in Istanbul last week and is believed to have been murdered there.

Previously, the kingdom's ambassador to the United States, Prince Khalid bin Salman, said reports suggesting Khashoggi went missing in the Istanbul consulate or that Saudi Arabia had killed him "are absolutely false and baseless" and a product of "malicious leaks and grim rumors".

Karen Elliott House, a veteran writer on Saudi affairs and chairwoman of the board of trustees at RAND Corp., said US support for the Yemen war is likely to be the focus of congressional criticism but won't endanger a relationship that has endured for decades, underpinned by shared strategic interests. He left Saudi Arabia past year saying he feared retribution for his criticism of Riyadh over the Yemen war and its crackdown on dissent, and since then wrote columns for the Washington Post. The two countries are also at odds over Iran's role in the region and the Muslim Brotherhood, both of which Saudi Arabia views as threats.

A bipartisan group of US senators is forcing the Trump administration to investigate the disappearance of a Saudi journalist, triggering a human rights probe that could result in sanctions against Saudi officials and entities.

Cengiz waited outside the consulate when Khashoggi entered on 2 October and raised the alarm when he did not emerge.

The journalist was known as a critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's increasingly authoritarian posture toward dissent in the Kingdom.

On Wednesday, 22 bipartisan U.S. senators sent President Donald Trump a letter, asking him to probe and potentially sanction Saudi Arabia in line with the country's human rights law for the disappearance and alleged murder of Khashoggi.

'We're demanding everything, ' Trump said, asked if his team was seeking information from the Saudis - longtime allies who the Trump administration has hugged closely.

Selena Gomez receiving mental health treatment
Gomez didn't attend the American Music Awards last night and the site notes that her team has been virtually silent recently. Selena was then taken to an East Coast psychiatric facility, where she is now receiving dialectical behavior therapy.

This image taken from CCTV video obtained by the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet and made available on Oct. 9, 2018, claims to show Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Oct. 2, 2018. Saudi royal guards, intelligence officers, soldiers and an autopsy expert were part of a 15-member team from the kingdom that targeted Khashoggi, Turkish media reported Thursday. He wanted to build on his years of professional experience to become an influential journalist in Washington, as the Arab world set the stage for major developments. Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist, published critical pieces of the Saudi government and exiled himself to Virginia.

Trump told reporters he had talked with officials in Saudi Arabia "at the highest level" about Khashoggi's disappearance, but offered no indication on his whereabouts.

Trump said Khashoggi's fiancée had sent him a letter and may come to the White House soon.

"Well, I think that would be hurting us". Secretary of State Mike Pompeo then had a follow-up call with the crown prince to reiterate the USA request for information and a thorough, transparent investigation.

Turkish officials fear Khashoggi was killed by the Saudis after he walked into the consulate, though they haven't offered any evidence to support that. He said his administration was pressing the Saudi government to reveal more about the incident.

"If a bird flew, if a mosquito appeared, these systems would catch them and (I believe) they (the Saudis) would have to most advanced of systems".

The president added that he would invite Khashoggi's fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, to the White House to meet him, after she called for Trump to get involved in the matter.

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