GENEVA - U.N. human rights experts are calling for a prompt independent and international investigation into the disappearance of Saudi Arabian journalist and government critic Jamal Khashoggi. He was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, October 2.
Members of the U.N. Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances say they are deeply concerned over the vanishing of Kashoggi as well as over allegations of his state-sponsored murder.
They say they are disturbed the disappearance of the Saudi journalist may be directly linked to his criticism of his government's policies in recent years. They are demanding an immediate international probe into the events surrounding his case.
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Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani agrees the apparent enforced disappearance of Khashoggi from the Saudi consulate is of serious concern.
"If reports of his death and the extraordinary circumstances leading up to it are confirmed, this is truly shocking. We call for cooperation between Turkey and Saudi Arabia to conduct a prompt, impartial and independent investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Khashoggi's disappearance and to make the findings public," Shamdasani said.
This image taken from CCTV video obtained by the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet and made available on Oct. 9, 2018, purportedly shows Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Oct. 2, 2018.
Khashoggi walked into the Saudi consulate more than one week ago to get divorce papers so he could marry his Turkish fiancee. He has not been seen since. The journalist, a critic of the Saudi monarchy, has been living in self-imposed exile in the United States for more than a year.
His disappearance has unleashed an international firestorm and warnings of serious diplomatic repercussions if the matter is not resolved. U.S. President Donald Trump, who has a close relationship with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed, says he does not like the "bad stories" about this situation.
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Turkish media reports allege Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi consulate and his body dismembered. Crown Prince Mohammed calls the reports about Khashoggi's disappearance or death completely false and baseless.
U.N. human rights experts say an international probe is needed to learn the truth. They say the perpetrators and masterminds of this alleged crime should be identified and brought to justice.