Tuesday, October 16, 2018 | ePaper

UN urges Turkey, Saudi Arabia to investigate journalist disappearance

  • Print


Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi speaks on his cellphone at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland

Reuters, Geneva :
The United Nations human rights office voiced deep concern on Tuesday at the "apparent enforced disappearance" and possible murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi a week ago and urged the two countries to investigate.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Monday asked Riyadh to prove its claim that Khashoggi had left the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, while Washington urged Saudi Arabia to support an investigation into his disappearance.
"Yes, this is of serious concern, the apparent enforced disappearance of Mr Khashoggi from the Saudi consulate in Istanbul," U.N. human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told a Geneva news briefing.
"If reports of his death and the extraordinary circumstances leading up to it are true, this is truly shocking," she said.
Khashoggi was previously a prominent newspaper editor in Saudi Arabia and an adviser to a former head of intelligence. His disappearance has sparked global concern, particularly after Turkish sources said over the weekend that authorities believed he had been killed inside the consulate.
"We call for cooperation between Turkey and Saudi Arabia to conduct a prompt and impartial investigation into the circumstances of Mr Khashoggi's disappearance and to make the findings public," Shamdasani said. The two countries have such an obligation under both criminal law and international human rights law, she said.
Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump expressed concern Monday about the fate of prominent Saudi journalist and regime critic Jamal Khashoggi, who vanished after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week.
"I am concerned. I don't like hearing about it. Hopefully that will sort itself out," Trump told reporters at the White House.
"Right now, nobody knows anything about it. There are some pretty bad stories going around. I do not like it."
Khashoggi, a US resident, has written articles over the past year critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. On the eve of his planned marriage to a Turkish woman, entered the consulate Tuesday and has not been seen since.
Turkish officials have said he was murdered inside the consulate. Riyadh denies that and claims he left the compound on his own.
The issue threatens to strain the close relationship Prince Mohammed has forged with the Trump administration, which until now has been willing to turn a blind eye to Saudi human rights violations and its bombing campaign against Yemen's Houthi rebels, which has killed thousands of civilians.
Trump has instead focused on US and Saudi shared interests in ratcheting up pressure on Iran.
But two senior senators of Trump's Republican party warned Monday that the relationship could be imperiled if the stories about Khashoggi are correct.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said Riyadh must provide "honest answers" about the journalist.
"We agree that if there was any truth to the allegations of wrongdoing by the Saudi government it would be devastating to the US-Saudi relationship and there will be a heavy price to be paid-economically and otherwise," Graham tweeted.
"Our country's values should be and must be a cornerstone of our foreign policy with foes and allies alike," he said.
Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, warned against governments attacking journalists outside their countries.
"I have raised Jamal's disappearance personally with the Saudi ambassador, and while we await more information, know we will respond accordingly to any state that targets journalists abroad," he wrote.

More News For this Category

Saudi Arabia warns against any sanctions over missing Khashoggi case

Saudi Arabia warns against any sanctions over missing Khashoggi case

Reuters, Washington :Saudi Arabia on Sunday warned against threats to punish it over last week's disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as European leaders piled on pressure and two more US

Trump says he is ‘comfortable’ as President despite political battles

Trump says he is ‘comfortable’ as President despite political battles

Reuters, Washington :President Donald Trump said in an interview broadcast on Sunday that he was "comfortable" in the White House after almost two years in office, despite political storms over

Prince Harry and wife Meghan expecting a baby

Prince Harry and wife Meghan expecting a baby

AFP, London :Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, are expecting a baby in the spring of 2019, they announced on Monday as they began a Pacific

May under mounting pressure to rethink Brexit plan

May under mounting pressure to rethink Brexit plan

Reuters, Belfast :British Prime Minister Theresa May was under mounting pressure on Monday to rethink her plan for leaving the European Union after Brexit talks reached a stand-off at the

Imran Khan's party loses seats vacated by him in by-poll

Imran Khan's party loses seats vacated by him in by-poll

PTI, Islamabad :Pakistan's deposed premier Nawaz Sharif's PML-N recovered some ground in the by-elections by eating up the votes of prime minister Imran Khan's PTI, winning four out of 11

News in brief

Amnesty researcher abducted, beaten in RussiaAP, Moscow Rights group Amnesty International says its researcher in Russia's North Caucasus has been abducted and beaten while reporting on protests in the region.

Trump explains `eligibility` for those who want to come to US

Trump explains `eligibility` for those who want to come to US

PTI, Washington :US President Donald Trump has said that he wants people with merit, who can help, to enter the country and not sneak inside the border illegally."I'm very tough

No jihadists seen exiting Syria buffer on eve of deadline

No jihadists seen exiting Syria buffer on eve of deadline

AFP, Beirut  :Hardline fighters have yet to begin withdrawing from a planned buffer zone in northwestern Syria, a monitor and an AFP correspondent said Sunday on the eve of the

Trump thanks Turkey for pastor's release, denies cutting deal

Trump thanks Turkey for pastor's release, denies cutting deal

Reuters, Washington :President Donald Trump said on Saturday the release of U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson after two years in Turkish custody was a "tremendous step" toward improved relations with Turkey,

US wants ‘regime change’ in Iran: Rouhani

US wants ‘regime change’ in Iran: Rouhani

Reuters, Tehran :The United States is seeking "regime change" in Iran, President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday, adding that the current US administration is the most hostile that the Islamic