Politics

It’s been 100 days since Jamal Khashoggi was killed. We still don’t know much

Jamal Khashoggi was murdered 100 days ago.

On Oct. 2, 2018, the Washington Post columnist walked into Saudi Arabia‘s consulate in Istanbul and never reappeared.

The mysterious death of the journalist, who was a prominent critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has prompted international outcry.

International human rights organizations, world leaders and news organizations have all called on Saudi Arabia to provide answers on what exactly happened.

One hundred days later, Khashoggi’s body has not been found. Numerous other questions remain unanswered.

Saudi Arabia’s changing statements

Saudi Arabia’s tone on the murder, meanwhile, has changed several times. The kingdom first claimed the journalist left the consulate alive and well, then said he died in an accidental fist fight.

Amid mounting international pressure, Saudi officials admitted he died inside the consulate.

Most recently, Saudi Arabia has indicted 11 people over the killing and announced last week that it will seek the death penalty against five of them.

The kingdom maintains that neither Prince Mohammed, nor any member of the royal family, had knowledge of the plan to kill Khashoggi.

That statement has been widely disputed by Turkey, U.S. officials and human rights groups.

What Turkey claims

Turkey has also made wide-ranging claims on Khashoggi’s murder, only occasionally providing proof. At several points, the two countries have criticized each other for not cooperating in the investigation.

Turkish security officials have kept up a slow leak of videos, photographs and morbid details surrounding Khashoggi’s slaying to its state-controlled media. Officials maintain that Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate and then his remains were cut up and taken out of the building.

The country’s officials have refused to hand over the evidence they have in the murder, while Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused the Saudis of hiding evidence.

The country has demanded Saudi Arabia extradite 18 suspects to be tried there, but those calls have been rejected.

International pressure slowly fades

The CIA has reportedly concluded that Prince Mohammed was involved in Khashoggi’s killing, but this has never been confirmed by the organization.

In December, however, U.S. senators passed a motion that blamed the prince for Khashoggi’s killing and called on Riyadh to “ensure appropriate accountability.”

U.S. President Donald Trump has taken a distinctly different avenue, saying that the country will remain closely connected with Saudi Arabia regardless of the killing.

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has said that Canada does not consider the killing to be a closed case, and several other politicians around the world have echoed that sentiment.

At the same time, outrage from politicians over the murder has faded and failed to garner as many headlines.

The United Nations said earlier this month that Saudi Arabia’s trial of the suspects “does not meet the requirements of an independent and international probe.” It added that an international, independent investigation into the murder is needed.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International also renewed a call for an international investigation into the killing Thursday.

The group made the call outside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Thursday, while marking the 100th day anniversary.

About 100 metres away from the consulate, the activists symbolically erected a street sign bearing the name of the journalist who wrote critically about the crown prince.

— With files from Reuters, The Associated Press

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