Jamal Khashoggi was living in exile from Saudi Arabia and was a resident of the United States. Just this year, Jamal was brought on as a contributor to the Washington Post which is powerhouse publication in D.C. Jamal spoke out frequently against Mohammad Bin Salman and called him a fake reformer, he wrote and published his work in Arabic and English with the Washington Post also on his website jamalkhashoggi.com.
On Friday, September 28th, Jamal Khashoggi made his initial visit to the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul. Jamal was trying to obtain a document from the Saudi Arabian government that would finalize his divorce from his ex-wife allowing him to marry his Turkish fiancee Hatice Cengiz. Jamal informed an official at the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul that he would have to come back to the consulate in a few days to pick up the document to which he was told to arrive at the consulate at 1:30 pm on October 2nd.
The next day on September 29th, Mr. Khashoggi left Istanbul and flew back to London because he was scheduled to speak at a conference in London hosted by the Middle East Monitor which is a non-profit group. According to the New York Times on October 1st, Mr. Khashoggi had lunch with friends in London. Over lunch, Jamal told his friends he was writing an article about free speech in the Arab world. Mt Khashoggi’s friends told the New York Times that Jamal didn’t seem to be too concerned about returning to the Saudi Arabian Consulate to retrieve his paperwork.
In the wee hours of the morning on Tuesday, October 2nd a Sky Prime Aviation Gulfstream carrying 9 Saudi intelligence officers touched down at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul at 3:43 a.m., 10 hours before Jamal Khashoggi was asked to return to the consulate.
At 10:30 a.m. on October 2nd Turkish officials working in consulate are told to leave because a meeting is going to take place at the consulate. According to CCTV footage, Mr. Khashoggi entered the consulate at exactly 1:14 p.m. on October 2nd. Before entering the consulate, Jamal gave his wife Hatice two cellphones and told her to contact the Turkish government if he did not reappear. At 4:00 p.m. later that day 6 vehicles were captured on CCTV cameras leaving the consulate.
Later that same evening another Sky Prime Aviation Gulfstream carrying 6 Saudi Intelligence officers arrived at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul at 5:15 p.m. 5 hours later the first Sky Prime Aviation Gulfstream to land in Turkey departed for Dubai at exactly 10:46 p.m. according to flight records at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul. Meanwhile, Ms. Cengiz was still faithfully waiting outside the Saudi consulate for her Jamal.
Reuters was first to report about what was being called “Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance” and it didn’t take long for the story to go international with gruesome details being leaked to the public without also providing the public with evidence to substantiate the gruesome tales. Journalist around the world should stand up and speak for Jamal Khashoggi.
Instead of being an example of an oppressive monarchy’s gruesomely apparent pastry-like thin skin, Jamal’s assassination should be a catalyst that propels the fomentation of brave voices in the Arab world to speak out against their oppressors. If we as a global community do not stand up and speak for Jamal Khashoggi then we are paving the way for oppressive regimes to premeditatively assassinate and dismember a legal resident of the United States and columnist for the Washington Post simply for speaking the truth.
Please use the #JusticeForJamal hash-tag to spread the word about his case on social media.