Jamal Khashoggi, a seasoned journalist from Saudi Arabia, was detained in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Tuesday. Khashoggi is an incisive critic of the Kingdom’s leadership.
According to his fiancée, Khashoggi entered the consulate around 1:30 pm to collect a document he needed to get married.
At 9 pm, five hours after the closing time of consulate, his friend Turkish journalist Turan Kislakci, and fiancée were waiting outside the consulate for Jamal Khashoggi to exit.
Jamal Khashoggi’s abrupt detention is just similar to the arrests of Saudi clerics, activists and businessmen over the last year, as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, seems to be on a cracking-down spree.
Khashoggi told his friend on Monday that he could be detained and deported to Saudi Arabia on visiting the Saudi consulate.
While majority of the people were detained inside the kingdom, some were even unfortunate to get arrested in other Arab countries. They were then forcibly deported to Saudi Arabia, where they got held without legal charges.
Loujain al-Hathloul, a well-known women rights activist, was arrested in the UAE and repatriated in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia, until now, was detaining and torturing people within its borders, but with Khashoggi’s detainment on foreign land, the Kingdom’s aggression has crossed the borders.
Now the question arises, Why haven’t they let him go?” What is happening with Khashoggi in the consulate? Nothing is known yet.
For years, Jamal Khashoggi worked as a journalist in Saudi Arabia. In the initial years, he interviewed Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, and also covered the Saudi kings. He was a confidant of Saudi government, overlooking its scandals and abuses. He also served as both an official and unofficial adviser to the senior Saudi officials.
It was only last year that many of his friends got detained for voicing their opinions against the regime. The scope of freedom of expression in the Saudi kingdom was sharply shrinking. Jamal Khashoggi decided to go in voluntary exile, shuttling between the Washington DC, London and Istanbul. He began publishing articles, denouncing the over-authoritarian rule of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He wrote op-ed columns for The Washington Post.
Those articles fumed the Saudi government and defenders of Crown Prince, setting off his detainment in Turkey.