A celebrated journalist vanished into thin air in Saudi’s consulate and the kingdom claims to have no clue of how it happened and who did it. An year later, a documentary surfaces with the prince’s statement claiming responsibility of the Jamal Khashoggi’s murder; not for commanding it, but because it happened at the time of his rule – ‘under his watch’. The prince’s approach to the severe accusations the international community holds against him, is as casual as in the war he is fighting for more than four years now in Yemen, in partnership with his Abu Dhabi counterpart, crown prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Jamal Khashoggi would have celebrated his 60th birthday this October, had he been alive. Living with his fiancée Hatice Cengiz, Khashoggi would have continued voicing his opinions to fight for the voiceless, against the Saudi Arabian regime led by a 33-year-old prince, Mohammed bin Salman. All this would have happened, if only he hadn’t entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on the fateful day of 2nd October 2018. Alas, he did and never returned. The murder of a celebrated journalist and a Saudi insider took place inside a government building, yet there are no clear explanations as to what exactly unfolded on that evening and who did the deed.
Recently, Saudi’s attempt to block an investigation into its war in Yemen failed when a bunch of experts, appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council documented the atrocities committed in the civil war. Despite being barred from the entering Yemen, the investigators covered the devastating impact on civilians of airstrikes and other violent acts of the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthi rebels. The wrecking impact came to light through several interviews of hundreds of victims and witnesses, and the examination of a range of other evidence.
However, Khashoggi, who was dismembered for highlighting the Kingdom’s rights abuses, wasn’t always against his country. The Saudi journalist was an avid supporter of the country, even in their role in Yemen war. He was a nationalist and a patriot who, at all costs, wanted his nation to progress and be a part of the international community.
It was later that a phase of criticism he threw against MbS’ regime led to his censorship from the Saudi Arabian media. Hopeful to bounce back, Khashoggi prevented from contesting the ban and waited for a miracle to happen. However, when things didn’t turn up for the journalist in his homeland, he moved to Virginia under a self-imposed asylum when The Washington Post offered to give his opinions a voice through their columns.
The rest is just history after which, the fateful day of his brutal assassination came. He was dismembered in what is said to be a premeditated murder ordered by the crown prince of Saudi Arabia through a “hit squad” that especially flew to Turkey to ‘finish the job’.
It has been a year, but Khashoggi’s body has not been found yet. The CIA concluded that brutal assassination of the columnist was ordered by Prince Mohammed of Saudi Arabia. On the other hand, MbS recently stated that the killing happened “under my watch”, but ingeniously denied to take any responsibility.
The year passed with several ifs, buts and maybes, and the murder of a journalist, who had put his words on the internet for a cause, remains a mystery, despite all the claims. Power wins again, where the life of a commoner was purchased in the name of a country’s reputation.