Crime & Justice

Khashoggi’s girlfriend denounces US hypocrisy on murder anniversary eve

Washington, Oct 1 (EFE).- Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s dismayed girlfriend Friday denounced the hypocrisy of President Joe Biden’s administration in seeking justice in the brutal killing of the writer allegedly by the Saudi authorities in 2018.

Hatice Cengiz said the Biden government was, on the one hand, promising accountability, but on the other protecting the Saudi crown prince, Mohamed bin Salmán, who allegedly approved the murder inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

To mark the third anniversary of the chilling murder, Cengiz, a Turkish citizen, traveled to Washington for demonstrations, where she unveiled a portrait of Khashoggi near the US Capitol.

Saudi agents, some of them close to the crown prince, who had arrived from Riyadh, killed Khashoggi three years ago on Oct.2.

He was a prominent Saudi writer who lived in a self-exile in the United States. He wrote critically about the prince in The Washington Post.

Accompanied by human rights activists, Cengiz, in her fiery speech, recalled that Biden had promised accountability in the Khashoggi murder when he was campaigning for the US presidency.

“President Biden and Vice President (Kamala) Harris, when are you going to step forward and deliver on your promises,” she asked.

“Or will your administration continue to do business as usual (with Saudi Arabia) despite the promise,” Cengiz continued.

She said she was dismayed to learn that Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, had met with the Saudi prince in Riyadh.

“Is this what the accountability that Biden promised looks like?” she asked at the candlelight vigil organized by rights groups.

In February, the Biden administration declassified a US intelligence report that pinned culpability on bin Salman who gave the go-ahead for the action that led to the murder of Khashoggi.

The intelligence report cites bin Salman’s dominant position in the Saudi government and the “direct involvement” of people close to the crown prince, including seven of his bodyguards, in the killing.

Dozens of people carried electric candles in their hands to stage a vigil with Khashoggi’s fiancee to mark the third anniversary of the murder.

Representatives of global rights and liberty watchdogs accompanied Cengiz at the vigil.

Amnesty head for the Middle East and North Africa Philippe Nassif warned that the murder of the journalist was a template.

“If we do not respond and press for accountability and justice, there will be more Jamals,” he said. EFE


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