Washington Post Leaves Khashoggi's Column Blank in Protest at His Disappearence

Published October 7th, 2018 - 07:43 GMT
US media holding a spot for Jamal Khashoggi  (Twitter)
US media holding a spot for Jamal Khashoggi (Twitter)

U.S. media have come out in support of Jamal Khashoggi, who disappeared after visiting his country's consulate in Istanbul this week, while other Saudi journalists have mocked the dissident.

The Washington Post ran a blank column in its opinion section on Friday in a show of solidarity with its missing columnist.

The empty column was published with the headline: "A missing voice."

A separate editorial called on Saud Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to ensure Khashoggi was "free and able to continue his work".



"The crown prince has been all over the United States preaching his vision of a more modern Saudi society, breaking out of the stale old religious codes and practices, opening up to foreign entertainment and investment," the editorial read.

"If he is truly committed to this, he will welcome constructive criticism from patriots such as Mr. Khashoggi."

Khashoggi's op-eds were frequently critical of Mohammed bin Salman, the de-facto authoritarian ruler of Saudi Arabia.

He disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Tuesday to complete paperwork regarding his planned marriage to his Turkish fiancé, but did not emerge from the building and has not been seen since.

It is for these reasons that friends and family are concerned that he might have been kidnapped by the Saudi regime for his condemnation of the crown prince and Riyadh's involvement in the Yemen war.

Saudi Arabia has stated that Khashoggi left the building, but this has been dismissed by relatives of the Saudi writer and the Turkish state.

International media organisations have also backed the journalist.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) issued a statement on Wednesday after Jamal Khashoggi went missing for over 24-hours, when he visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Wednesday.

"The [CPJ] is deeply concerned about Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who has been living in self-imposed exile in the U.S. since 2017 and urges Saudi authorities to immediately disclose his whereabouts," the watchdog stated.

Saudi journalists poured scorn on their media colleague after he left Saudi Arabia for self-imposed exile in the U.S., following his critical columns about the crown prince and President Donald Trump, a close ally of bin Salman.

Khalid al-Matrafi said on Twitter: "Innocent question: Can the terrorist Qatari regime and the Muslim Brotherhood deal/cope without the services of Jamal Khashoggi?" - referring to the Saudi journalist's criticism of the Riyadh regime.

He also made further aspersions on his character suggesting that Jamal was getting married every six months to cause a stir.

"I don't understand, how, the committed journalist free to work, produce, meet, change his opinions, hold meetings, write articles in Arabic and English, talk to his sources, and scratch his head as he analyses opinions, gets engaged every 6 months and gets married just for the attention.. He's a Ghazi Asmali [Osman I]," said Khames.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has launched a fierce crackdown on opponents and critics of his rule.

At least 11 journalists are currently being detained in Saudi Arabia and the kingdom ranks as one of the worst in the world for the media.

Bin Salman has also detained dozens of potential royal and business rivals and held them in Riyadh's Ritz Hotel, including world famous entrepreneur Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.

A recent BBC documentary also claimed that three princes were abducted by Saudi authorities from abroad before being hurried back to the kingdom, and have not been heard of since.



Copyright @ 2019 The New Arab.

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