Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, slams Trump administration as ‘devoid of moral foundation’ one month after Khashoggi’s killing

  • The journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi Consulate one month ago as part of what the Saudi public prosecutor described as a premeditated plot.
  • Khashoggi’s fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, has called on the international community and the US to step up efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice.
  • In an op-ed article in The Washington Post published Friday, Cengiz criticised the Trump administration’s approach to the investigation, accusing it of taking a position “devoid of moral foundation.”

The journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul one month ago as part of what the Saudi public prosecutor described as a premeditated plot, and now his fiancée is calling for the perpetrators to face justice as Riyadh stalls and evades questions amid an investigation.

“It has been exactly one month since my fiancée, the celebrated journalist Jamal Khashoggi, entered Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul never to return. Today is also United Nations International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists. The coincidence is tragic and painful,” Hatice Cengiz said on Friday in an op-ed article for The Washington Post, for which Khashoggi wrote.

Cengiz urged the international community – especially the US government – to ramp up pressure on the Saudi government to ensure justice.

“It is now up to the international community to bring the perpetrators to justice,” Cengiz said. “Of all nations, the United States should be leading the way. The country was founded on the ideals of liberty and justice for all, the First Amendment enshrining the ideals personified by Jamal.”

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Saudi Arabia hopes the world will forget about Jamal Khashoggi’s killing, and still hasn’t answered simple questions about his death

President Donald Trump has largely stood by the Saudis since Khashoggi went missing, facing criticism that he has been too soft in his response.

Cengiz said the Trump administration had taken a position “devoid of moral foundation.”

“Some have approached this through the cynical prism of self-interest – statements framed by fear and cowardice; by the fear of upsetting deals or economic ties. Some in Washington are hoping this matter will be forgotten with simple delaying tactics,” Cengiz said. “But we will continue to push the Trump administration to help find justice for Jamal. There will be no cover-up.”

Cengiz said she is “not naive” and acknowledged that governments are driven by “mutual interests,” but she questioned what “moral authority” they would be left with if they were to do nothing about Khashoggi’s killing.

She said those who ordered her fiancée’s killing should also be prosecuted, “even if they stand in the highest political office.”

“We are now going through a test of humanity. And it requires leadership. The biggest responsibility lies on the heads of the governments,” Cengiz said, adding: “I demand justice for my beloved Jamal. We must all send a clear message that authoritarian regimes cannot kill journalists ever again.”

Khashoggi entered the consulate on October 2 intending to obtain documents that would allow him to marry Cengiz, who has said she waited outside for him for roughly 11 hours.

Riyadh’s narrative about what happened to Khashoggi, who was often critical of the Saudi government in his writing, has shifted multiple times.

The Saudi government denied any involvement in Khashoggi’s disappearance for nearly three weeks before acknowledging he was killed in the consulate. The Saudis at first claimed Khashoggi was accidentally killed as a result of a fistfight but eventually said his death was premeditated.

The Saudis have not identified who ordered the killing or said what happened to Khashoggi’s body.