By Umar Farooq
The Washington Post newspaper on Tuesday called on Saudi Arabia to give an honest account of what happened to Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Khashoggi is a columnist for the Post, and contributed to the newspaper often with frequent pieces on the Saudi government.
Publisher and CEO Fred Ryan said Khashoggi’s family deserves an apology for what transpired in the last few weeks.
“The government of Saudi Arabia owes the Khashoggi family and the world a full and honest explanation of everything that happened to him, and we support the requests from Jamal’s family and the United Nations for an international investigation,” Ryan said in a statement.
Khashoggi has long been feared killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul after he entered on Oct. 2 and was never seen exiting.
On that same day, 15 Saudis, including several officials, arrived in Istanbul on two planes and visited the building while Khashoggi was still inside, Turkish police sources said. All of the identified individuals have since left Turkey.
Saudi authorities have yet to give a clear explanation of Khashoggi’s fate, while several countries — particularly Turkey, the U.S. and the UK — have expressed their desire that the matter should be elucidated as soon as possible.
“The Saudi government can no longer remain silent, and it is essential that our own government and others push harder for the truth. Until we have a full account and full accountability, it cannot be business as usual with the Saudi government,” Ryan added.
The statement comes after prominent names in business and the media have pulled out of the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh.
The New York Times, CNN and CNBC networks announced they would not be sponsoring the conference next week amid the global outcry over Khashoggi’s disappearance.