The Forgotten Journalists (Part 2): The Quartering of Jamal Khashoggi


Prof Hoosen Vawda – TRANSCEND Media Service

The Silence of the Nations: The Quartering[1] of Jamal Khashoggi on 2 Oct 2018[2]–May His Soul Rests in Peace

“The Middle Eastern Hit Squads are a Commonly Used Mechanism to Terminate Dissidents”[3]

“The Last Living Image”:  A still image taken from CCTV video shows the Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi as he enters the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on 2 October 2018 at the stated time, never to be seen again[4], dead or alive.

Part 2, in this series of publications on the termination of journalists: “Journocide”[5], the assassination Mr Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi Journalist and a United States resident, by strangulation and systematic quartering, with two chainsaws, brought in by a Saudi Hit Squad on a special private jet from Saudi Arabia, is reviewed.

During the High Middle Ages, those in the Kingdom of England found guilty of treason were punished in a variety of ways, often including drawing and hanging. Throughout the 13th  century, more severe penalties were recorded, such as disemboweling, burning, beheading, and quartering.

The 13th century English chronicler Matthew Paris described how in 1238 “a certain man at arms, a man of some education (armiger literatus)”[6]attempted to kill King Henry III. His account records in detail how the would-be assassin was executed: “dragged asunder, then beheaded, and his body divided into three parts; each part was then dragged through one of the principal cities of England, and was afterwards hung on a gibbet used for robbers.”[7] He was apparently sent by William de Marisco, an outlaw who some years earlier had killed a man under royal protection before fleeing to Lundy Island. De Marisco was captured in 1242 and on Henry’s order dragged from Westminster to the Tower of London to be executed. There he was hanged from a gibbet until dead. His corpse was disembowelled, his entrails burned, his body quartered, and the parts distributed to cities across the country.[7]

After more than four years, since his disappearance inside the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul, Turkiye on 02nd October 2018, there is no closure of the case and nor is there any information about his mortal remains, todate.  Khashoggi entered the evil portals of the Saudi complex after 13:14 hours, to collect a personal, Saudi document, stating that he was divorced in Saudi Arabia.  The acquisition of this document would have enabled him to register his fiurth matrimony, so that he could wed his Turkish fiancée, Miss Hatice Cengiz. Khashoggi first visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 28th  September 2018, on which occasion, he lodged his application for the document and was informed to return on that fateful day to collect the doomed document.  He was never ever seen thereafter, nor were his mortal remains ever located since then.  He simply disappeared after entering the embassy, creating a global outcry implicating the Crown Prince, Mohammed ibn Salman, the youngest son of King Salman of Saudi Arabia and the defacto ruler of the Kingdom, in his disappearance from the Saudi consulate, in Istanbul.

Ms Cengiz wrote in the post,  “He did not believe that something bad could happen on Turkish soil.” She accompanied him to the entrance of the consulate on 02nd October 2018.  Despite reassuring friends that he would not face any problems inside, Khashoggi gave Ms Cengiz two mobile phones and told her to call an adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan if he did not come back out.  She ultimately waited for more than 10 hours outside the consulate and returned the following morning when Khashoggi had still not reappeared.[8]

Regarding what was the response of Saudi Arabia? For more than two weeks, the Kingdom consistently denied any knowledge of Khashoggi’s fate.  The Saudi consulate initially said Khashoggi had left after completing paperwork.  Prince Mohammed told Bloomberg News that the journalist had left the consulate “after a few minutes or one hour”. “We have nothing to hide,” he added.  However, on 20th October 2018, in a change of tune , the Saudi government said a preliminary investigation by prosecutors had concluded that the journalist died during a “fight” after resisting attempts to return him to Saudi Arabia. Later, a Saudi official attributed the death to a chokehold.[9]

On 15th November 2018, Saudi Arabia’s deputy public prosecutor Shalaan al-Shalaan said the murder was ordered by the head of a “negotiations team” sent to Istanbul by the Saudi deputy intelligence chief to bring Khashoggi back to the kingdom “by means of persuasion” or, if that failed, “by force”.  Investigators concluded that Khashoggi was forcibly restrained after a struggle and injected with a large amount of a drug, resulting in an overdose that led to his death, Mr Shalaan said. His body was then dismembered and handed over to a local “collaborator” outside the consulate for disposal, he added.  Five individuals had confessed to the murder, Mr Shalaan asserted, adding: ” The crown prince did not have any knowledge about it.”  In response to a question raised as to “What actions has Saudi Arabia taken?” the Saudi public prosecution said in late September 2018 that a total of 31 individuals were investigated over the killing and that 21 of them were arrested.  Five senior government officials were also sacked, including Deputy Intelligence Chief Ahmad Asiri and Saud al-Qahtani, a senior aide to Prince Mohammed.  In January 2019, 11 individuals, who have not been named, were put on trial at the Riyadh Criminal Court in connection with Khashoggi’s murder, and the public prosecutor sought the death penalty for five of them who remained unnamed.[10]

Time’s Person of the Year Honors Jamal Khashoggi and the Guardians of the Truth[11] By Robin Wright, December 11, 2018

Human Rights Watch said the trial, which took place behind closed doors, did not meet international standards and that authorities “obstructed meaningful accountability”. In December 2019, the court sentenced five individuals to death for “committing and directly participating in the murder of the victim”. Three others were handed prison sentences totaling 24 years for “covering up this crime and violating the law”, while the remaining three were found not guilty.  The public prosecution said Mr Asiri was tried but acquitted “due to insufficient evidence”, while Mr Qahtani was investigated over the killing but not charged.  At a news conference following the verdict, Shalaan al-Shalaan said the public prosecution’s investigation had shown that “the killing was not premeditated”.[12]

Ms Callamard dismissed that assertion as “utterly ridiculous” and said the trial represented “the antithesis of justice”, from which the “masterminds” walked free.

But Khashoggi’s son Salah, who lives in Saudi Arabia, tweeted: “We affirm our confidence in the Saudi judiciary at all levels, that it has been fair to us and that justice has been achieved.”

In May 2020, Salah Khashoggi announced that he and his brothers were “pardoning those who killed our father, seeking reward from God almighty”, accepting the public prosecution’s contention that the murder was not premeditated.

Four months later, the Riyadh Criminal Court commuted the death sentences handed to five of the defendants to 20 years in prison. The three others were given sentences of between seven and 10 years. The prosecution said the verdicts were final and that the criminal trial was now closed.  Ms Cengiz said the ruling made “a complete mockery of justice”.

“The Saudi authorities are closing the case without the world knowing the truth of who is responsible for Jamal’s murder,” she added. “Who planned it, who ordered it, where is his body? These are the most basic and important questions that remain totally unanswered.”

Turkish officials said that a team of 15 Saudi agents, assisted by three intelligence officers, arrived in Istanbul in the days before the murder, and that the group removed the security cameras and surveillance footage from the consulate before Khashoggi’s arrival.

Istanbul’s chief prosecutor, Irfan Fidan, said on 31 October 2018 that the journalist was suffocated almost as soon as entered the consulate, and that his body was dismembered and destroyed.

Writing in the Washington Post on 2 November, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared it had been established that Khashoggi “was killed in cold blood by a death squad” and “that his murder was premeditated”.

“Yet there are other, no less significant questions whose answers will contribute to our understanding of this deplorable act” he added. “Where is Khashoggi’s body? Who is the ‘local collaborator’ to whom Saudi officials claimed to have handed over Khashoggi’s remains? Who gave the order to kill this kind soul? Unfortunately, the Saudi authorities have refused to answer those questions.”

Mr Erdogan said he knew the order to kill Khashoggi “came from the highest levels of the Saudi government”, but that he did “not believe for a second that King Salman, the custodian of the holy mosques, ordered the hit”.

In March 2020, the Istanbul chief prosecutor formally charged Saad al-Qahtani, Ahmad Asiri and 18 other Saudi nationals with murder.

Prince Mohammed’s two former aides were accused of “instigating a premeditated murder with the intent of [causing] torment through fiendish instinct”. The others were charged with carrying out “a premeditated murder with the intent of [causing] torment through fiendish instincts”.

Saudi Arabia rejected Turkey’s extradition request, so all 20 men were put on trial in absentia in Istanbul in July 2020. Court-appointed Turkish lawyers representing the defendants said their clients denied the charges.

In November, the court accepted a second indictment adding another six Saudis to the case. A vice-consul and an attaché were accused of “premeditated murder with monstrous intent”. The four others were charged with destroying, concealing or tampering with evidence.

What did the UN investigation find?  A report released in June 2019 by Ms Agnes Callamard, the special rapporteur, concluded that Khashoggi’s death “constituted an extrajudicial killing for which the state of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is responsible”.  She also found there was “credible evidence” to warrant an investigation into Prince Mohammed and other high-level Saudi officials, and said the prince should be subject to the targeted sanctions already imposed by some UN member states against other named individuals allegedly involved in the killing.

In a damming indictment, Ms Callamard further added that both the investigations into Khashoggi’s death by Saudi Arabia and Turkey “failed to meet international standards”.

She called for the trial in Saudi Arabia of the 11 suspects to be suspended, saying it would “not deliver credible accountability”.  “The trial is held behind closed doors; the identity of those charged has not been released nor is the identity of those facing the death penalty. At the time of writing, at least one of those identified as responsible for the planning and organising of the execution of Mr Khashoggi has not been charged,” she noted.  The Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Adel al-Jubeir, rejected the report, tweeting that it was “nothing new” and contained “clear contradictions and baseless allegations which challenge its credibility”.  The Saudi Minister of State added that “The Saudi judiciary is the sole party qualified to deal with the Khashoggi case and works with full independence”.

In mid-November 2018, Turkey’s government said it had shared audio recordings of the killing with Saudi Arabia, the US, the UK, Germany and France. While not officially made public, details of the recordings were included in Ms Callamard’s report.  The UN special rapporteur noted that she was not able to obtain copies of the recordings from Turkish intelligence or authenticate them.  But in one recording, her report says, two Saudi officials are apparently heard discussing how to cut up and transport Khashoggi’s body just minutes before the journalist entered the consulate.  One is quoted as saying: “The body is heavy. First time I cut on the ground. If we take plastic bags and cut it into pieces, it will be finished.” At the end of the conversation, the other asks whether “the sacrificial animal” has arrived. A later conversation recorded inside the consul general’s office purportedly features Khashoggi being told by officials: “We will have to take you back. There is an order from Interpol. Interpol requested you to be sent back. We are coming to get you.”  The reports quotes Khashoggi as replying that “there isn’t a case against me. I notified some people outside; they are waiting for me; a driver is waiting for me.”

At 13:33 local time, he is heard saying: “There is a towel here. Are you going to give me drugs?” Someone responds: “We will anaesthetise you.”  The report says the conversation was followed by sounds of a struggle, during which people are heard saying, “Did he sleep?”, “He raises his head,” and “Keep pushing.” Later, there are sounds of movement, heavy panting, and plastic sheets.  Turkish intelligence identified the sound of a saw at 13:39, but Ms Callamard said she and her delegation could not make out the sources of the sounds they heard.  Assessments of the recordings by intelligence officers in Turkey and other countries suggest Khashoggi could have been injected with a sedative and then suffocated using a plastic bag, according to the special rapporteur.  Turkish officials were not granted access to the Saudi consulate for DNA testing until more than two weeks after the incident.

The special rapporteur said there was credible evidence that crime scenes had been “thoroughly, even forensically, cleaned” before investigators arrived. Among the areas searched for Khashoggi’s remains are the Belgrad forest[13], which a consular attaché visited on 01st  October 2018, and the coastal town of Yalova, the location of a farmhouse allegedly owned by a Saudi national. None of those put-on trial have been identified by Saudi prosecutors, but the report by the UN special rapporteur named them, citing information from “various governments’ sources”.  According to the report, the five facing the death penalty were Fahad Shabib Albalawi; Turki Muserref Alshehri; Waleed Abdullah Alshehri; Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, an intelligence officer who the US says worked for the crowd prince’s aide Saud al-Qahtani; and Dr Salah Mohammed Tubaigy, a forensic doctor with the interior ministry.

The other six defendants were Mansour Othman Abahussain; Mohammed Saad Alzahrani; Mustafa Mohammed Almadani; Saif Saad Alqahtani; Muflih Shaya Almuslih, reportedly a member of the consulate staff; and Ahmad Asiri, the former deputy intelligence chief.  According to interviews conducted by the special rapporteur, the defendants’ lawyers argued during a court hearing in January that they were “state employees and could not object to the orders of their superiors”.  Three defendants allegedly said that Khashoggi “started screaming, so they covered his mouth to prevent him from making noise, which accidentally killed him”, according to the report. Ms Callamard noted that she had heard no screaming in the audio recordings from the consulate.

Mr Asiri was cited as telling the court that he had “never ordered the use of force” to bring Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia.  Nine of the defendants named by Ms Callamard were previously identified by Turkish officials as members of the 15-strong team of agents sent to Istanbul, for the heinous assassination and quartering of Mr Jamal Khashoggi’s body. Most of the agents arrived at and departed from the city’s airport by private or commercial jet the same day as Khashoggi was killed. CTV footage appears to show vehicles driving them to the consulate, and two hours after Khashoggi’s arrival, some of them heading to the consul’s residence.

The special rapporteur said three men were filmed entering the residence with what seemed like plastic trash bags, and at least one rolling suitcase. Khashoggi’s killing was internationally condemned and caused a diplomatic crisis between Saudi Arabia and some of its closest allies, including the US.  After the murder was confirmed by the Saudis, then US President Donald Trump described it as the “worst cover-up in history”. However, he defended US ties to the Kingdom, a key trading partner.  This response was widely derided by senators in Congress, who pointed the finger at Prince Mohammed.

According to US media reports, the CIA, whose director heard the consulate audio recordings concluded with “medium to high confidence” that Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered Khashoggi’s killing.  Mr Trump denied that and his administration defied a legal requirement to release an unclassified report identifying anyone implicated in “the directing, ordering or tampering of evidence” in the case.  According to the North American reporter Anthony Zurcher, the “Statement from President Donald J Trump on Standing with Saudi Arabia”, the title of the White House release leaves little doubt about where he comes down on the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

With the US Central Intelligence Agency reportedly poised to conclude that senior members of the Saudi Arabian government were responsible for Khashoggi’s death, Mr Trump’s move could be viewed as an attempt to pre-empt that finding and clearly indicate that a strong US-Saudi alliance will continue undeterred.  Trump’s dictum: America First!  The world is a very dangerous place!  The president knows how to write a good opening. In two lines, he offers a distillation of his foreign policy priorities, contrasting the supremacy of American interests with a dismal view of the rest of the world, where bad things often happen beyond US control.  Mr Trump very quickly pivots in his statement to talking about Iran and the destabilising role he says the nation plays in the region. They are the ones who denounce the US in the harshest of terms; they are the ones who have killed “many Americans and other innocent people”; they are the ones who have supported Syria’s Bashar Assad kill his own citizens.  All this is the former president’s initial effort to set up a stark contrast with Saudi Arabia and put the death of one man, Khashoggi, up against the deaths of thousands, by the forces of government sponsored terrorism.[14]  The former, US President Donald Trump, has strongly defended ties with Saudi Arabia despite international condemnation of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder. The kingdom is a “steadfast partner” that has agreed to invest “a record amount of money” in the US, Mr Trump said in a statement. The president acknowledged Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman “could very well” have known about Khashoggi’s murder and maybe he didn’t![15]  “In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” he added.  Later on, Mr Trump said that the CIA had not made a “100%” determination on the killing.  In an interview the former president told Fox News that he had refused to listen to a recording of Khashoggi’s murder provided by Turkey, calling it “a suffering tape”.

The US, Canada, France and the UK all levied sanctions against 18 Saudis allegedly linked to the killing. The Saudi crown prince was not on the list. Germany, Finland and Denmark were among the European nations to cancel arms deals with Saudi Arabia after the killing. Mr Trump’s successor, Joe Biden, has said he will declassify the CIA report.

A still picture from CCTV recording of The Saudi Hit Squad outside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on the day of the assassination, 02nd October 2018.
Inset: An Engraving depicting the execution of Sir Thomas Armstrong in 1684[16], by hanging, drawing, quartering and decapitation.  The analogies are obvious, as the body of Jamal Khashoggi was quartered. However, none of the parts, including the head, have been located, to date.

The Bottom Line, is that the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi, is, as yet, unsolved, for political sensitivities and more importantly, the major world powers are typified by A “Silence of the Nations”. It also appears, according to a journalist, who wishes to remain anonymous, that Mohammed bin Salman, also had the mobile device of Jamal Khashoggi infected with spyware Pegasus purchased from Israeli software company , enabling him to obtain information on the Saudi dissident, which eventually leading to his brutal extra-judicial execution and quartering, with chainsaws.  On 31st March 2022, a Turkish prosecutor called on, for the trial in Istanbul of Saudi suspects, in absentia, over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, to be halted and transferred to Saudi authorities, a move which comes as Turkey seeks to mend ties with Riyadh.[17]  A U.S. intelligence report released a year ago said the prince had approved the operation to kill or capture Khashoggi, but the Saudi government denied any involvement by the crown prince and rejected the report’s findings.  Turkish officials said they believe Khashoggi, a prominent critic of the crown prince, was killed and his body dismembered in an operation which President Tayyip Erdogan said had been ordered at the “highest levels” of the Saudi government.  The killing and subsequent accusations strained ties between the two regional powers and led to an unofficial Saudi boycott of Turkish goods, which cut Ankara’s exports to Riyadh by 90%. Erdogan now seeks better ties with states which had become bitter rivals in recent years, including Egypt, Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.  Israeli and UAE leaders visited Ankara in recent months, but progress with Cairo and Riyadh has been slower. Erdogan said last month he hoped to take “concrete steps” with Riyadh soon.[18]

The Istanbul court where the 26 Saudi suspects have been on trial in absentia for nearly two years said on Thursday it would ask for the Justice Ministry’s opinion on the request to transfer proceedings, and set the next hearing for 07th April 2022. It is interesting to note the turning of the tide. In 2020, Saudi Arabia jailed eight people for between seven and 20 years for Khashoggi’s murder. None of the defendants was named in what rights groups described as a sham trial.  At the time, Ankara said the verdict fell short of expectations, but has since softened its tone as part of the broader attempt to repair ties. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told broadcaster A Haber that judicial cooperation between the two countries had since improved.  Khashoggi’s fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, who attended the court session, said in a statement later she was “heartbroken” by the prosecutor’s request. “No good will come of sending the case to Saudi Arabia,” she said. “We all know the authorities there will do nothing. How do we expect the killers to investigate themselves?” In 2021, the Turkish court rejected requests to add the U.S. intelligence assessment of Prince Mohammed’s role to the case file. It then asked for details of the Riyadh trial from Saudi authorities to avoid defendants being punished twice. The Turkish prosecutor said Saudi authorities responded by asking for the case be transferred, and pledging to evaluate the accusations against the 26 defendants. The request should be accepted, the prosecutor said, because the defendants were foreign citizens, the arrest warrants could not be executed and their statements could not be taken, leaving the case in abeyance or suspension.

In a separate development, the Crown Prince told The Atlantic monthly, that he felt his own rights had been violated by the accusations against him as any person should be considered innocent until proved guilty.  However, Agnes Callamard, Amnesty International Secretary General, said that Turkey was “betraying” Khashoggi and justice.  Callamard was the former U.N. special rapporteur for extrajudicial summary or arbitrary executions and carried out the investigation that found Saudi officials “planned and perpetrated” Khashoggi’s killing.  “Nothing surprising though,” she said on Twitter about the prosecutor’s request. “Turkey is after all one of the worse jailers of journalists and cannot be counted on,” Callamard said, describing the move as “spineless”.[19]

According to BBC’s chief international correspondent, Lyse Doucet, in Riyadh, for the Saudis, and especially the Saudi leaders, there was a sigh of relief. But, it’s also what they expected, and what they’ve always said about President Trump, he will be a true friend of the Kingdom.  Both sides want to draw a line under this major crisis and global outcry. But as Mr Trump acknowledged, and Saudis know, it won’t go away. Not for many in the US Congress, as well as for many others, including countries who will continue to call for greater clarity.  Many Saudis say they don’t believe their country’s defacto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, would have ordered such a despicable act. Many, who’d long been hoping to see their country move forward, have been shaken by this shocking murder, and regret it will cast a dark shadow for many years to come. In the words of one prominent Saudi: “It has brought Saudi Arabia ten steps back.”[20]

The assassination of Jamal Khashoggi bears the distinct “honour”’ of being staged managed by two successive United States Presidents from 2018 until December 2022.  With respect to the stance adopted by former President Donald J. Trump, it was a case of “America First”, then everybody else and if one journalist was assassinated that act does not warrant America straining their lucrative international financial deals, nor will this death affect the profitable arms deals with Saudi Aribia, in the future.  However, President Joe Biden , who initially promised to held individuals accountable for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, has come to no avail.  However, on 07th December 2022, according to a report by Rob Crilly, Senior U.S. Political Reporter for Dailymail.Com, Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancée,  slammed a United States, judge’s decision to dismiss a case accusing Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman of murdering her husband, and the ‘shameless decision’ by the Biden administration to grant him immunity. Hatice Cengiz said she was heartbroken as she railed against the hypocrisy of politicians. The grieving fiancée said that president’s administration gave ‘brutal murderer a free pass’ – after promising to hold him to account  As a presidential candidate, Joe Biden promised to make Saudi Arabia a ‘pariah’ for the murder of journalist Khashoggi.[21] But in July 2022, President Biden bumped fists with the kingdom’s de facto ruler during a visit to improve relations.  ‘I’m completely heartbroken by the court’s decision,’ she said a day after her case was dismissed by a judge in Washington D.C.  ‘And as I’ve repeatedly stated before, I’m extremely disappointed by the hypocrisy of some politicians, who say one thing and do the opposite. ‘Needless to say, I’m very disappointed by the judge’s dismissal order, aided by the Biden administration’s shameless decision to give a brutal murderer a free pass, based not just on a blatant lie, but also on a deliberate deception that was concocted to avoid accountability.’

Jamal Khashoggi’s ex-fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, brought a case against MBS and other Saudi officials in Washington D.C. district court, but it was dismissed by a US judge[22]

On 29th September 2022, the Saudi Arabia’s powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been appointed as the prime minister by a royal decree. The crown prince, who is heir to the throne held by King Salman, already wields wide powers and is seen as the kingdom’s day-to-day leader. The royal decree appointing him as prime minister was carried by the Saudi Press Agency.[23]  The reshuffle kept another son, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, as energy minister, the king said in the royal decree. The crown prince, known as MBS, is promoted from defence minister and has been the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter and a major U.S. ally in the Middle East.  This new development has important implications for Mohammed bin Salman in terms of now having a legal cover, with diplomatic immunity, internationally, as the Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia[24].  The development took place as US debates whether Prince Mohammed qualifies for immunity from lawsuits in American courts.  Effectively, President Biden has made MBS, immune to lawsuits in the United States, now him being classified as a state diplomat, enjoying privileges , as such.   Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of the NGO Khashoggi founded, Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), told AFP it was a “last-ditch effort to conjure up a new title for him” — in other words, “a title-washing ploy”.[25]

The 37-year-old de facto ruler of the world’s biggest crude exporter has been targeted in multiple lawsuits in the US in recent years, notably over the 2018 killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate, which temporarily turned him into a pariah in the West.  This bestowing of a title of a Prime Minister, coincides with the US judge dismissing the lawsuit against MBS in the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi in the US had already given US lawyers a deadline of 03rd October to file a “statement of interest” on the immunity question. But now, the US government has sought 45 more days citing the latest development of Prince Mohammed becoming Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, right, greets President Joe Biden with a fist bump after his arrival in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Friday, July 15, 2022.

Furthermore, President Joe Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia emboldened the kingdom’s leader to escalate his crackdown on dissidents, Saudi activists have said. Lina al-Hathloul and Abdullah Alaoudh, whose family members have been detained in Saudi Arabia, spoke to Newsweek after a Saudi woman studying in Britain was sentenced this week to 34 years in prison for her activity on Twitter.  Salma al-Shehab, was initially handed a six-year prison sentence after being detained in January 2021, but an appeals court raised it to 34 years followed by a 34-year travel ban.[27]  Al-Hathloul said al-Shehab’s harsh sentence clearly shows that the crown prince “feels emboldened, and knows he can double down on repression in all impunity.”

In the meantime, the journocides continue. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today renewed its call on the international community for concrete action to protect the safety and freedoms of journalists as it recorded a spike in the numbers of journalists killed or imprisoned during 2022. The vote on the IFJ Convention on the Safety and Independence of Journalists by the UN General Assembly has become urgent. The IFJ released the latest figures ahead of International Human Rights Day, recording 67 killings of journalists and media staff in the line of duty in 2022 compared to 47 last year – a reversal of the decline recorded in recent years.[28]

In South Africa, the Islam community and the Islamic Theologians, did not make any comments on this assassination of Jamal Khashoggi.   Their collective silence was indeed deafening and absolutely no statements were issued publicly on the murder.  In the author’s opinion, this silence was generated by the Islamic community who did not stand for justice, as hypocrites but safeguarded their personal interests in ensuring that they will obtain visas to proceed to the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina.  If the local Muslim community spoke out against Saudi Arabia, they would be denied visas to enter the Kingdom.  This is noteworthy that most affluent Muslims in South Africa, have already performed up to 10 pilgrimages over their lifetime, while only one pilgrimage is compulsory, if one can afford this spiritual journey to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia..

Such is the religious hypocrisy in the Islamic community, amongst most of the South African Muslims. The final philosophy is that there is no justice when a choice has to be made between materialism and righteousness, both amongst global politicians as well as the regional Islamic community and tat is the essence of this sad assassination of Jamal Khashoggi. Khashoggi’s legacy lives on in his writings, his advocacy for democracy and human rights, and his foundation DAWN, which supports dissidents and activists in the Arab world.[29] May his troubled soul rests in peace.




[3] Personal quote by the author, December 2022.


[5] Term coined by the author on 30th May 2022, in his publication:



























Professor G. Hoosen M. Vawda (Bsc; MBChB; PhD.Wits) is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment.
Director: Glastonbury Medical Research Centre; Community Health and Indigent Programme Services; Body Donor Foundation SA.

Principal Investigator: Multinational Clinical Trials
Consultant: Medical and General Research Ethics; Internal Medicine and Clinical Psychiatry:UKZN, Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine
Executive Member: Inter Religious Council KZN SA
Public Liaison: Medical Misadventures
Activism: Justice for All

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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 16 Jan 2023.

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