A year has now passed, and Jamal Khashoggi is still waiting for justice

A year has now passed, and Jamal Khashoggi is still waiting for justice

Those who brutally assassinated Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul likely never imagined that they would be cursed indefinitely by their victim.

They most likely thought that the support of Mohammad Bin Salman, the Saudi Arabian crown prince, and his allies in the United States’ government would be enough to assure that no one would dare question the official story.

They were wrong.

Last week, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made a speech at the UN General Assembly which has regarded by many Muslim scholars as one of the most important and courageous speeches ever heard in that chamber.

Despite that Turkey is a member of NATO and a US ally, President Erdoğan wasn’t afraid to call out Washington in regard to the rights of the Palestinian people and over the ongoing scandal sorrounding Jamal Khashoggi’s murder.

These are two issues which should have been brought up by every member of the General Assembly, as they are at the heart of most debates and problems in the Middle East today.

Erdoğan made sure everyone knew that Turkey will not give up on the fight for justice and will continue pushing until everyone involved in the murder is identified and punished.

Just a day after President Erdoğan’s speech, Bin Salman, in an interview with PBS , finally came forward to some degree regarding the incident claiming that because he was in charge at the time, the responsibility falls on him.

Of course if it wasn’t for Turkey’s insistence, the crown prince would never have felt the need to address the murder at all.

Despite claiming responsibility, over the last year all ties were cut with those involved in the crime in order to save the crown prince and his reputation. His “admission” is too little, too late.

No one can say for sure how much money went to America and other western countries, especially their so called ‘human rights communities’ and organizations, in order to gloss over the issue, but luckily not everyone can be bought.

A couple of months before the crime, Khashoggi and I had a long discussion about Iran and Saudi Arabia. Despite his criticisms of Bin Salman’s leadership, he proudly defended his country and its policies.

Our discussion was inconclusive and we agreed to continue it on another occasion, neither of us realizing that that wouldn’t be possible, at least in this world. He naturally never imagined that he would meet such a brutal fate inside his own country’s consulate.

If this incident had taken place anywhere else in the world, it is likely that no one would have pursued it any further. The killers made a big mistake by carrying out their crime on Turkish soil.

Some believe that the murderers had banked on the fact that Khashoggi’s death was so brutal that other critics of the Saudi government would be scared to come forward. If so, they were wrong again.

Khashoggi was a Saudi Citizen, but he was also a human being, and should be entitled to the rights and privileges afforded to anyone else. The debate right now is not only about what happened to Khashoggi, it is a matter of general human dignity.

If the international community lets the incident pass by without punishing those involved, it will open space for other dictators to feel they can do the same without opposition.

Humanity is on trial, and we must ask ourselves if we as a species are ready to accept this type of behavior from those in power.

Those continuing to push for justice for Jamal Khashoggi are fighting for human rights and the future of humanity itself. 

Emad Abshenass
Journalist, writer and Political Science professor (Iran)

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May 2021