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Washington Post Journalist Murdered in Saudi Embassy

Is his death another link in a chain of events occurring at the hands of Saudi officials to silence their opponents?

Jehiel+Butt+%E2%80%9919+believes+that+the+Saudi+reporter%E2%80%99s+demise+is+an+alarming+event+in+a+recent+chain+of+moves+by+the+Saudi+government+to+suppress+dissent.+
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Washington Post Journalist Murdered in Saudi Embassy

Jehiel Butt ’19 believes that the Saudi reporter’s demise is an alarming event in a recent chain of moves by the Saudi government to suppress dissent.

Jehiel Butt ’19 believes that the Saudi reporter’s demise is an alarming event in a recent chain of moves by the Saudi government to suppress dissent.

Pietro Topa

Jehiel Butt ’19 believes that the Saudi reporter’s demise is an alarming event in a recent chain of moves by the Saudi government to suppress dissent.

Pietro Topa

Pietro Topa

Jehiel Butt ’19 believes that the Saudi reporter’s demise is an alarming event in a recent chain of moves by the Saudi government to suppress dissent.

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On October 2nd, 2018, a Saudi Arabian journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, was murdered by Saudi Arabian agents, who flew into Istanbul and left the same day. Khashoggi was visiting the Saudi consulate in order to resolve marital issues, but almost a month later, there are still more questions than answers about the events that day.

There, he was confronted by up to fifteen Saudi Arabian men, who tortured Khashoggi and entered into a deadly altercation with him. After the fight, the fifteen agents, one of whom posed as a body double wearing Khashoggi’s clothes, left the embassy and the country just under two hours later after they had arrived.

Jamal Khashoggi had a very decorated resume and was known for his brazen words regarding the Saudi Arabian government. Khashoggi had served as the editor-in-chief for the news outlet ‘Arab News’ between 2002 and 2004, and as of last year, worked in the same post for ‘Al-Arab News.’ In 2017, Jamal moved to the United States and started working for ‘The Washington Post.’ As a reporter with ‘The Washington Post,’ Khashoggi commended his country of origin for passing reforms for women, such as giving them the right to drive. However, he came down harshly on the country’s foreign policy, especially regarding its ongoing dispute with Qatar, Lebanon, and Canada.

“I was shocked by the events that had transpired, and I couldn’t imagine something like this is happening in our world today,” said Ramanash Sharma ’19.

In addition to his extensive writing résumé, Khashoggi was also a vocal presence on social media. Khashoggi used social media platforms such as Twitter to spread his messages to a wider audience. Khashoggi’s courage to speak out against Saudi policies earned him the reputation of a dissenter, and left him on bad terms with the Saudi government. Supposedly, Khashoggi had self-exiled himself from his home country and was banned from Twitter in his home country.

What transpired on October 2nd, 2018, shocked people around the world. According to reports from CNN, Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Turkey and was later escorted into a room. There, he was confronted by up to fifteen Saudi Arabian men, who tortured Khashoggi and entered into a deadly altercation with him. After the fight, the fifteen agents, one of whom posed as a body double wearing Khashoggi’s clothes, left the embassy and the country just under two hours later after they had arrived.

A source of controversy has arisen as to whether or not the Saudi Arabian government was involved. On the one hand, the Saudi Arabian government was insistent on claiming that these actions were done by a ‘rogue’ low-ranking official and that the matter would be internally resolved. Saudi Arabian officials also claimed to have arrested the eighteen persons found involved, including the fifteen Saudi Arabian operatives who conducted the ground operation.

On the other hand, many Western news outlets, including ‘CNN,’ have reported that the operation was directed from Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, the de facto leader of the country. Such reports would signal just another event in a chain of acts by the prince to repress any critics of the royal family. Along with this suspected murder, recent reports have revealed that the Saudi Arabian government have recruited thousands of civilians to join their ‘troll farms,’ where groups of Saudi Arabian civilians respond to dissenters of the government on social media and disrupt their posts. Some actions of these trolls included spamming dissenting posts and reporting accounts of individuals who actively rebuke the government.

Many of these allegations that ‘CNN’ has reported on are corroborated by the United States. There is little clarity as to how Congress and the Trump administration will respond, but the general response from the world has been that heavy sanctions could result for Saudi Arabia if Prince Mohammad Bin Salman was found to be guilty.

Whatever the case may be, the murder of this renowned journalist is a troubling event to the world, where basic principles such as the freedom of speech and press have been compromised by the Saudis.

“I was shocked by the events that had transpired, and I couldn’t imagine something like this is happening in our world today,” said Ramanash Sharma ’19.

As the murky details of this case unfold, hopefully light will be shed on the events and appropriate reactions are taken to preserve our basic human rights around the world.

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Washington Post Journalist Murdered in Saudi Embassy