The children of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi forgave the five sentenced to death for the murder of their father, who could therefore escape the gallows in Riad. “We, the children of the martyr Jamal Khashoggi, forgive those who killed our father because we want the divine reward,” Salah, the eldest son, who lives in Jeddah wrote on Twitter. From London, however, Khashoggi’s girlfriend Hatice Cengiz replies on Twitter that “nobody has the right to pardon his killers”.
It is a new chapter in the tragic story of the journalist from Washington Post murdered on October 2, 2018 in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Cengiz is the woman who waited for him for three hours that afternoon in front of the consulate, where he had gone to get the documents to marry her. Inside, it was suffocated and torn to pieces. The corpse has never been found. The reporter had moved to the United States, criticized the reforms of Saudi Arabian prince Mohammed bin Salman. At first, the Kingdom claimed that it had left the consulate, then blamed the “diverted” secret services. After nine hearings, held in the greatest confidentiality, in December 2019 a Kingdom court sentenced five people to death and three to long prison terms, decreeing that the murder was not premeditated and that the agents, unbeknownst to the prince, wanted bring the journalist home. No punishment for the most important figures suspected of having ordered the murder, those close to Mohammed bin Salman.
The doubts of intelligence and the United Nations
The reconstruction raised US intelligence doubts that such an operation could not have taken place without the prince knowing. Agnès Callamard, special rapporteur for extrajudicial executions of the UN, called that process “the antithesis of justice” and recommended an independent investigation at the top. His son Salah Khashoggi, however, had expressed confidence in the system (“Justice is done”) and criticized the “enemies” who use his father’s death to attack Kingdom leaders. The Washington Post he wrote that after Khashoggi’s death, the children would be compensated with monthly houses and payments.
Now Salah writes: “On the night of the holy month of Ramadan we remember the words of God: those who forgive and reconcile themselves will be rewarded by Allah”. Islamic law stipulates that those sentenced to death can be pardoned with the agreement of the families of the victims. But his girlfriend Hatice Cengiz replies: «Jamal is a bigger symbol than we are. We won’t stop until we get justice. ”
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