Fiancee demands accountability if Khashoggi murdered

'The people who took him from us, irrespective of their political positions, must be held accountable,' says Hatice Cengiz

Fiancee demands accountability if Khashoggi murdered

Hatice Cengiz, fiancee of missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, on Saturday called for accountability if he was killed.

Khashoggi, a columnist for Washington Post, was last seen entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, and fears have grown that he has been killed.

On Friday, several media outlets reported that Turkish authorities had audio and visual evidence that showed Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate.

In an op-ed penned for The New York Times, Cengiz, a doctoral student in Istanbul, said that if the allegations proven true, Khashoggi "is already a martyr" and his loss was "of every person with a conscience and moral compass". 

"If we have already lost Jamal, then condemnation is not enough. The people who took him from us, irrespective of their political positions, must be held accountable and punished to the full extent of the law," she said. 

On the same day Khashoggi arrived at the consulate, 15 Saudis, including several officials, arrived in Istanbul on two planes and visited the consulate while Khashoggi was inside, Turkish police sources said. All of the identified individuals have since left Turkey.

Saudi authorities have yet to give a clear explanation about Khashoggi’s fate, while several countries -- particularly Turkey, the U.S. and the U.K. -- have expressed their desire that the matter should be elucidated as soon as possible.

On U.S. President Donald Trump's invitation to the White House, Cengiz said she would "consider accepting" such an invitation if Trump helped reveal what happened to Khashoggi.

"If he makes a genuine contribution to the efforts to reveal what happened inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul that day, I will consider accepting his invitation," she wrote. 

Earlier, in a CBS interview on Saturday, Trump said that there would be "severe punishment" for Saudi Arabia if it turns out that Khashoggi was killed. 

"Jamal spoke up against oppression, but he paid for the Saudi people’s demand for freedom with his own life," added Cengiz. 

"If he is dead, and I hope that is not the case, thousands of Jamals will be born today, on his birthday. His voice and his ideas will reverberate, from Turkey to Saudi Arabia, and across the world. Oppression never lasts forever. Tyrants eventually pay for their sins," she wrote. 

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