Saudi Arabia’s account on the disappearance of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, shifted from denial of his killing to a “rogue operation”. Not everyone in the Arab world believes that.

Human rights activists and friends of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi hold his pictures during a protest outside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey October 8, 2018
Human rights activists and friends of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi hold his pictures during a protest outside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey October 8, 2018 (Reuters)

More than two weeks after Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared during his visit to the Kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul, Saudi Arabia finally admitted that he never left the building and in fact, was killed there. 

Turkish authorities have not accused Saudi Arabia of the killing of Khashoggi, on the record, until very recently, but a stream of details became public through leaked anonymous Turkish security sources. 

On Monday, CNN showed a leaked video of Saudis using a body double who left the consulate with Khashoggi’s clothes and later dumped them in a public dumpster. 

Although admitting to the killing, Riyadh said it didn’t know where the body of the journalist was, and fired intelligence officials and arrested 18 Saudi suspects as part of an investigation. 

Many Arab states, especially the Kingdom’s allies in the region remained silent on the killing or declared support to Riyadh. But the public’ reaction wasn’t always in line with the governments’ reactions. Some said the Kingdom’s final account was far from being satisfying or transparent enough.

A Saudi activist who lives in the US, Amani al Ahmadi ,said the Kingdom’s investigation wouldn’t be credible. Like many others, Nora Abdulkarim, a Saudi-American activist also wasn’t satisfied by the Saudi explanation of how the incident took place. 

Mohammed Mahsoob, Former Egypt Minister of Parliamentary affairs said, "The escape of the real culprits in the assassination of #Jamal_Khashoggi from justice will be a light for every tyrant to liquidate his opponents abroad. The perpetrators in the #Rabia_massacres and #syria butcherings has allowed eliminating dissent in the interior to be a government method. Humanity is faced with a real test. Lasting interests won’t survive without respect for people’s rights."

Dina Khatib, a journalist based in Qatar called on journalists to be clear on the language while covering the Khashoggi “assassination.”  

“At least in respect of your colleague, Jamal Khashoggi. What happened to him could happen to any reporter if journalists do not come together to prevent a recurrence. Defend yourself and the minds of others. 15 against 1 is not (simply) a death,” she said.

 "I hope the truth is not lost and Khashoggi's blood is not wasted by the silence of his countrymen and their whitening of rulers," Sana Mahfoudhi, a Twitter user based in Tunisia said.

"Jamal was killed for the sake of freedom of speech and his defence and his stand with the detainees who raised their opinions."

On the other hand, Saudi supporters praised Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, also known as MBS on how he dealt with the situation. Most of the support tweets gathered under the Arabic hashtag standing for #Saudi_Kingdom_of_Justice

Some Twitter users said the pressure on the Saudi Government was unjustified.

Source: TRT World