Journalist Murdered in Turkey

The right to free speech is a right guaranteed to American citizens by the constitution. However, not all countries grant their citizens the ability to criticize their government freely. Such is the case in Saudi Arabia, where a WashingtonPost reporter by the name of Jamal Khashoggi was brutally murdered by the Saudi government because he had been a harsh critic to their government’s ways.

On October 2, Khashoggi entered a Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey to receive a form to prepare for his wedding, although he never exited the building. The first reports of his disappearance were reported by his fiancé and his friends. By the next day, the Saudi government had confirmed that Khashoggi was missing, but that they had no involvement in the disappearance and Khashoggi had left the consulate.

Meanwhile, the Turkish government reported that Khashoggi remained inside of the consulate, conflicting with the report of the Saudi government. The president of Turkey has said the journalist was the victim of a carefully planned “political murder” by Saudi intelligence officers and other officials according to BBC.

On October 6, Turkish officials investigated the consulate and reported that they determined that Khashoggi has been killed in the consulate and his body had been moved elsewhere. A few days later the Saudis continued to deny involvement. A news report from BBCreleased on October 25, that the murder of Khashoggi was premeditated, meaning that it was planned by the suspects ahead of time.

“I assure you that the reports that suggest that Jamal Khashoggi went missing in the consulate in Istanbul or that the Kingdom’s authorities have detained him or killed him are absolutely false and baseless,” Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Saudi Ambassador to the United States and Prince of Saudi Arabia, said.

The Turkish government released video clips and audio recordings which corroborated their interpretation of the events. The audio recording revealed that Khashoggi had been tortured before his death and the video recording showed that the people committing the crimes had ties to Crown Prince Mohammed himself. The video recordings also showed a decoy Khashoggi, another man who looked and wore the exact same clothes as Khashoggi as well as a fake beard, but was not Khashoggi. After that, Saudi Arabia finally conceded, saying that Khashoggi was in fact murdered by consulate, but that they played no part in it.

President Donald Trump weighed in on the situation saying that he is very upset that the Saudis committed the murder. Trump also stated that economic sanctions could potentially be used against the Saudis.

“They had a very bad original concept, it was carried out poorly and the cover-up was the worst in the history of cover-ups. Whoever thought of that idea, I think is in big trouble. And they should be in big trouble,” President Trump, about the murder, said.

Trump further reminded that economic sanctions against the Saudis could threaten the economic stability of the United States even more than it would threaten the Saudis. Some United State politicians, such as Senator Lindsey Graham, rushed to condemn the Saudi government.

“This guy is a wrecking ball, he had this guy murdered in a consulate in Turkey, and to expect me to ignore it, I feel used and abused,” Graham said.

Graham also called for sanctions against Saudi Arabia as a whole. In his condemnation of Saudi Arabia’s potential involvement in the murders, Graham mentioned Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, essentially threatening the Saudi monarchy.

Many other major United States senators have called for disciplinary actions against Saudi Arabia. Some politicians requested that the Saudi ambassador be removed from America. However, the executive branch is likely to take disciplinary action since Saudi Arabia has been proven one hundred percent guilty.

Australia has already taken disciplinary action against the Saudis by rescinding their representation to the Future Investment Initiative event that is taking place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Other countries, such as France, Germany and the United Kingdom, have continued to challenge Saudi Arabia, but they have not taken any serious action against them.

The death of a journalist does not go unnoticed in this type of situation. Because of Khashoggi’s murder, millions of journalists are upset at the Saudia Arabian government and how they treat their people. However, the mistreatment and abuse of journalists is not something new, it has been seen throughout decades, but that needs to change.