Khashoggi's Fiancée Calls on Saudi Arabia to Return His Remains

Published October 30th, 2018 - 11:29 GMT
Khashoggi's fiancée Hatice Cengiz (Twitter)
Khashoggi's fiancée Hatice Cengiz (Twitter)

The friends and fiancée of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi paid tribute to him and called for Saudi Arabia to return his remains during an impassioned memorial service in London on Monday.

Speaking at the event, Khashoggi's fiancée Hatice Cengiz called for the 'evil criminals and cowardly political masters' behind his death to be held accountable as she implored Saudi Arabia to hand back his body.

'I loved a man who was gentle, caring and giving. I loved a man who had the courage to speak when others found comfort in silence,' Hatice Cengiz said.

 

'He wrote what he believed in, not what would please the powerful. He was a voice for the voiceless,' she added.

Fighting back the tears during her speech, Cengiz told the audience she would have 'stood in front of the death squad herself' if she had known what would happen to him after he entered the consulate.

'If I only knew what would happen I would have entered the consulate myself. If I knew that was the last time I would see his smile, hear his laughter, I would stood in front of that death squad myself,' Cengiz continued.

'Jamal is a martyr for a cause. He is a martyr for the struggle for democracy and freedom in our part of the world. I want to bury my beloved Jamal. I am asking again, where is his body?'

Other speakers at the event slammed the Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman for being a 'toxic influence' and likened him to Isis for allegedly signing off on the killing.

Khashoggi's murder has sparked international condemnation as Saudi Arabia's initial claims it had nothing to do with his disappearance at their consulate in Istanbul last month were proven false by Turkish investigators.

The Kingdom eventually relinquished claims Khashoggi had left the building unharmed and admitted he had been killed after he entered the complex.

His body is yet to be recovered by authorities, leading to calls for Saudi Arabia to cooperate with investigators so that he can receive a full burial.

Speaking at the memorial on Monday, Dr Daud Abdullah, the head of the Middle East Monitor, pleaded with the Saudis to hand over his body, saying: 'Everyone deserves that right.'

Abdullah also called Khashoggi 'a true Saudi patriot' who 'will not easily be replaced.'

Human rights activist Sarah Leah Whitson demanded a full international investigation into death which she says was planned and executed on the Crown Prince's orders.

Whitson also called on western governments to properly punish Saudi Arabia before imposing sanctions on the Prince himself.

She called for Mohammed Bin Salman to step down as the country's ruler, arguing he was 'poisonous' and the country's 'biggest liability in years'.

In an emotive send-off tribute to Khashoggi, Whitson added: 'You are the Saudi man who would not bow down, who paid for his freedom with his life. You have given your people a hero.'

And David Hearst, Editor in Chief of the Middle East Eye called Mohammed Bin Salman a 'toxic brand indistinguishable from the Islamic State', and compared him to a 'medieval lord descending into his dungeon to hear the screams of his prisoner'.

Earlier on Monday Cengiz rejected Donald Trump's invite to meet with him at the White House.

In an interview with Turkish television station Haber Turk, Cengiz said, 'The statements Trump made in the first days around his invite and the statements he made afterward opposed each other. They were simply statements to gain public sympathy.

'I do not think of going to the United States,' she explained, according to CNN. 'Whether I will go or not will depend on the formation of conscience.'

Cengiz doubled down on her earlier calls for the President to punish Saudi Arabia saying she was 'disappointed' in his actions.

'Let us not let money taint our conscience and our values', she urged in her speech.

The President has said repeatedly that the punishment for assassinating the journalist 'will have to be very severe,' because his reported kill by dismemberment is 'bad, bad stuff.'

Trump has not said what he thinks the U.S. should do in response, aside from the immediate revocation of the visas of the culprits. He promised 'certain recommendations' that have been limited so far to a plea to honor the defense contracts.

The Saudi Arabian crown prince and his elderly father claim that they did not direct the journalist's murder. They maintain that the 15-person team was sent to Turkey to retrieve the dissident and a fight broke out. Trump has suggested that he does not believe their version of events.

 

This article has been adapted from its original source.


© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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