Saudi Journalist kept in custody in Saudi consulate in Istanbul

According to a close friend of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, he was detained in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Jamal is a veteran journalist and a critic of the country’s leadership.

According to the fiancée of the journalist, he went to the consulate at around 1:30 pm. He basically needed some documents to get married. Over 5 hours after the consulate had closed, his friend and fiancée were still waiting outside the consulate for Mr.Jamal Khashoggi to come out.

Jamal’s fiancée Hatice Cengiz confirmed the news and said that she was worried about his safety. She added that she had no further information about him.

In order to prove his hold on the country, the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who is the day to day ruler of the country, has off late been arrested many Saudi clerics, intellectuals, activists and businessmen who have spoken against his leadership.

Mr. Khashoggi had told one of his friends just a couple of days back that he might be kidnapped and sent to Saudi Arabia if he went to the consulate. It must be noted that many people have been arrested in Prince Mohammed’s kingdom. But some people have been arrested in other Arab countries and then they have been bundled back to Saudi Arabia. Here, they have been held in captivity without any proper legal charges.

A few days back, Loujain al-Hathloul, who is a well-known women’s rights activist, was taken under police custody on a highway in the UAE and was flown to Saudi Arabia, where she has been jailed. The Turkish government has not given any response so far.

When an attempt was made to contact the Istanbul consulate, the employee who attended the phone said that he did not have any information about the matter and that the consulate was closed. The employee was specifically asked about the arrest of Mr. Khashoggi to which he said that they too had heard about it but did not have any information.

There was a time when Mr. Khashoggi was a reputed Saudi journalist. He was considered as advisor of the Saudi officials on all official and unofficial matters. But last year when the axe fell on freedom of expression in the kingdom and many of his friends were arrested, he went into exile voluntarily. Mr. Khashoggi needed a document to prove that his first marriage had ended, so that he could get married to a Turkish woman.

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