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Dissident Saudi journalist not seen since entering Istanbul consulate

Missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi's Turkish fiancee Hatice (L) and her friends wait in front of the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, 3 October 2018
Missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi's Turkish fiancee Hatice (L) and her friends wait in front of the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, 3 October 2018

OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images

This statement was originally published on rsf.org on 3 October 2018.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) wants to know what has happened to Jamal Khashoggi, a well-known dissident Saudi journalist who has not been seen or heard from since entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul at 1 p.m. yesterday to request the papers he needs in order to marry a Turkish citizen.

Personnel at the Saudi consulate refused to comment when contacted by RSF today about Khashoggi, who nowadays is normally based in the United States and often writes opinion pieces for the Washington Post.

"Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance is extremely worrying," said Sophie Anmuth, the head of RSF's Middle East desk. "Until otherwise demonstrated, he is still inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and the Saudi authorities are responsible for his safety and well-being. We call on both the Saudi and Turkish authorities to shed all possible light on this matter and to do everything to ensure that this journalist reappears - free - as soon as possible."

One of his country's best-known dissident journalists, Khashoggi fled to the United States in 2017, at the start of a crackdown on journalists, intellectuals and activists in Saudi Arabia that is still under way. More than 15 journalists and bloggers have been arrested since last summer, many of them unofficially.

Saudi Arabia is ranked 169th out of 180 countries in RSF's 2018 World Press Freedom Index. Turkey is ranked 157th.

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