Saudi Arabian authorities must disclose evidence over Istanbul disappearance
Past cases of dissidents being targeted overseas point to Saudi responsibility for Jamal Khashoggi’s mystery disappearance after consulate visit
‘If returned to Saudi Arabia, Jamal Khashoggi would be in serious danger’ - Lynn Maalouf
Responding to the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi Arabian journalist and critic of the Saudi authorities whose whereabouts remain unknown since he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Tuesday, Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East Research Director, said:
“The Saudi authorities must immediately disclose the evidence supporting their claim that Jamal Khashoggi left the consulate on Tuesday.
“If returned to Saudi Arabia, Jamal Khashoggi would be in serious danger given the pattern of flagrantly unfair trials that have been leading to long prison sentences and even the death penalty.”
According to Turkey’s state media reports, earlier this week the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the Saudi ambassador to Turkey to discuss Khashoggi’s disappearance. A spokesperson for the Turkish president’s office said on Wednesday that according to the information they have, Khashoggi is still in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Targeted outside country
This would not be the first time that a Saudi Arabian dissident has been targeted outside the country. In May last year, human rights defender Mohammed al-Otaibi was arrested in Doha airport while en route to Norway where he’d been granted refugee status. He was sent back to Saudi Arabia by the Qatari authorities. This January he was sentenced by Saudi Arabia’s notorious Specialised Criminal Court to 14 years’ imprisonment following a grossly unfair trial.