‘We must all send a clear message that authoritarian regimes cannot kill journalists ever again,’ says Hatice Cengiz
By Umar Farooq
The fiancee of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Friday demanded the international community to help reveal the truth about the whereabouts of his body.
In an opinion piece published in The Washington Post exactly one month after Khashoggi first disappeared and also on International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, Hatice Cengiz said the “coincidence is tragic and painful.”
“If the democracies of the world do not take genuine steps to bring to justice the perpetrators of this brazen, callous act — one that has caused universal outrage among their citizens — what moral authority are they left with?” Cengiz said.
Khashoggi, a Saudi national and columnist for The Washington Post, disappeared Oct. 2 after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to receive paperwork he needed to get married. Once inside, he was immediately strangled and then dismembered, according to the Istanbul Prosecutor’s office.
Her piece was an invitation to the international community to take steps to reveal the whole truth of the killing, to bring the perpetrators to justice and to deliver Khashoggi’s body to his family.
“We are now going through a test of humanity. And it requires leadership. The biggest responsibility lies on the heads of the governments,” Cengiz said.
Cengiz noted efforts of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and others there in managing the matter, and called for other leaders to join in these efforts.
“So I invite the leaders of all European countries and the United States to pass this test. Justice must be served. Those who ordered this murder — even if they stand in the highest political office — should also be prosecuted. I demand justice for my beloved Jamal,” said Cengiz.
“We must all send a clear message that authoritarian regimes cannot kill journalists ever again,” she wrote.