Friends of journalist Khashoggi demand Saudis produce his body

Friends of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who disappeared more than two weeks ago while visiting Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, have demanded Saudi authorities produce his remains so they can have a funeral.

Protesters with the activist group Code Pink demonstrate Friday outside the White House to call attention to the disappearance of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi. On Saturday, friends of the journalist called on the Saudi government to hand over his remains so they could have a funeral. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
Protesters with the activist group Code Pink demonstrate Friday outside the White House to call attention to the disappearance of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi. On Saturday, friends of the journalist called on the Saudi government to hand over his remains so they could have a funeral. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Khashoggi, a U.S. resident and Washington Post columnist, has not been seen since visiting the Saudi consulate Oct. 2 to get documents for his planned marriage. Security camera footage captured his entry, but not his exit.
Late Friday, Riyadh confirmed in a statement Khashoggi was killed and said an initial investigation found the journalist died during a fight at the consulate, a brawl that led to his death “and their attempt to conceal and cover what happened.”

Saudi officials say 18 people were detained in the case and those responsible will be brought to justice. The Saudi government also said it fired five top officials including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s adviser Saud al-Qahtani and deputy intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Ahmed al-Assiri.

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Turkish officials believe Khashoggi was dismembered and say there are audio and video recordings as proof.

Turan Kislakci, friend of Khashoggi and head of the Turkish Arab Media Association, called on Saudi Arabia to hand over the his body.

“Give us Jamal, so we can have a funeral for him. So that all people who care about him, world leaders, can come here to Istanbul for the funeral,” Kislakci said Saturday. “We want justice for Jamal. Eighteen [suspects] are not enough. We want those who ordered it.”

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Human rights group Amnesty International also called on Saudi Arabia produce the body of Khashoggi so an autopsy can be conducted

Samah Hadid, the organization’s director of campaigns for the Middle East, said the Saudi version of what took place cannot be trusted and that a United Nations should investigate circumstances surrounding Khashoggi’s death.

On Friday U.S. President Donald Trump said statements from Saudi Arabia’s were credible and amounted to “good first steps.”

BySusan McFarland