Jamal Khashoggi’s murder: NPWJ looks forward to Turkish legal proceedings finally bringing truth and justice

3 Jul, 2020 | Press Releases

Istanbul, Turkey, 3 July 2020

This morning, the criminal case against 20 Saudi citizens (including two former top aides to the Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman) commenced before a Turkish court for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, committed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on 2 October 2018. Testifying during these first hearings was the Turkish fiancée of the Washington Post editorialist, Hatice Cengiz, who was the last person to see Jamal outside the diplomatic office where according to the investigations he was tortured, murdered and his body dismembered.

Also present in the courtroom were Secretary General of No Peace Without Justice, Niccolò Figa-Talamanca, and the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard as an observer. The conclusions of the investigation carried out by Ms Callamard, which seem to confirm the assessments made by U.S. Intelligence, indicate there is significant evidence pointing to the responsibility of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, including its Crown Prince, in the premeditated planning and execution of Jamal’s assassination.

Since the murder of her fiancé, Hatice has started an awareness campaign – supported by No Peace Without Justice – to keep the international community’s attention high, to obtain truth and justice about the circumstances surrounding his killing and to identify and hold accountable moral and material perpetrators. Contrary to the miscarriages and travesty of justice by Saudi legal proceedings, NPWJ looks to the Turkish judicial authorities to shed real light on the death and the whereabouts of Jamal’s body as well as to reveal evidence about the perpetrators and instigators of the crime.

NPWJ believes that this scandalous murder – which was an affront to freedom of speech and human dignity – is not an isolated case, but is part of a model of widespread repression against important human rights defenders and activists, women, lawyers, journalists, writers and bloggers that has intensified since Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman came to power in June 2017. The murder dramatically demonstrates that the Saudi regime’s ambitious claims of reform are pure rhetoric and part of a smokescreen strategy used to cover the real face of an escalating and systematic campaign of repression to silence independent, dissenting or even dissonant voices by all means deemed necessary.

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For further information, contact Nicola Giovannini, Press & Public Affairs Coordinator, on ngiovannini@npwj.org org.