Why is there so much fuss about Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist for the Washington Post seen walking into but not out of the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul? The suggestion and probable reality is that he has been killed.

The fuss surely isn’t about him being a journalist who has been murdered for what he reports, as unfortunately that’s not uncommon. The Committee to Protect Journalists lists 44 other journalists being murdered so far in 2018 and 46 in 2017, with names and details supplied as to who they were and what happened. The International Federation of Journalists suggests larger numbers have been killed, with 82 in 2017 and 73 so far in 2018. There are at least about 100 journalists killed in just the last two years, and these have not been prominent in the news despite even collegial support and even self-interest. There must be another reason.

It has been suggested there is an unwillingness to upset the Saudi community and their lovely oil supply. There is no proof to date of any involvement apart from the location where he was seen last. There is, however, also no evidence that provides an alibi, another sighting or any contact in over a week, so it is likely that he won’t be reporting on anyone in the Saudi royal family nor condemning them again. This suggests foul play, and the international community should step up to investigate, act and protect journalists.

When journalists are killed, freedom of speech is diminished and true freedom comes under attack and this is never acceptable. Protect the journalists.

Dennis Fitzgerald

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