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The path(s) to justice in Jamal Khashoggi's murder

Protesters hold a portrait of missing journalist and Riyadh critic Jamal Khashoggi reading 'Jamal Khashoggi is missing since October 2' during a demonstration in front of the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, 9 October 2018
Protesters hold a portrait of missing journalist and Riyadh critic Jamal Khashoggi reading 'Jamal Khashoggi is missing since October 2' during a demonstration in front of the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, 9 October 2018

OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images

The following is an excerpt of a 23 October 2018 CPJ blog post by Joel Simon, CPJ Executive Director.

In an emotional address to Turkey's parliament today, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan described the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi as a savage and premeditated act and demanded that Saudi officials be brought to Turkey to stand trial. Most of the information about the investigation that has emerged has come through leaks to the Turkish media. So the fact the Turkey's president would put his personal prestige on the line raised the stakes considerably.

What Turkish investigators appear to have uncovered thus far about the crime is astonishing. A good deal has been independently corroborated by journalists and media organizations, such as The New York Times, which demonstrated that several of the men allegedly dispatched from Riyadh to carry out Khashoggi's murder and dismemberment are part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's security detail.

But given Turkey's record as the world's leading jailer of journalists and a systematic violator of media rights, it is clear that whatever motivation Erdoğan has for taking on the Saudis is not a deep and abiding respect for press freedom. Turkey's judiciary is hardly independent; political dissidents have faced systematic state-directed persecution. Ensuring the credibility of the probe is one reason that Turkey should request that the United Nations establish an international investigation, as CPJ, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and Reporters Without Borders outlined in an appeal made at the U.N. on October 18.

Read the full blog post on CPJ's site.

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