By Wasim Seifeddine
BEIRUT (AA) – The Saudi authorities have an “obligation” to divulge the fate of missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, U.K.-based rights watchdog Amnesty International said Friday.
The assertion came as a response by Heba Morayef, Amnesty’s regional director for the MENA region, to a reporter’s question at a Beirut press conference regarding the rights group’s position on Khashoggi's disappearance.
“The crimes of enforced disappearance and murder are unacceptable,” Morayef asserted.
“If the reports are true of the assassination of Khashoggi inside the consulate, it means that it [Saudi Arabia] is responsible for execution outside the country,” she added.
A columnist for the Washington Post, Khashoggi has not been heard from since Oct. 2, when he visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Since Khashoggi went missing, speculation has mounted that he was killed at the behest of the Saudi authorities, who have yet to provide a convincing explanation for his disappearance.
Meanwhile, several countries — including Turkey, the U.S. and the U.K. — have pressed Riyadh for clarification.
Notably, on the same day as his disappearance, 15 Saudi officials arrived in Istanbul, where they went to the consulate while Khashoggi was still presumably inside, according to Turkish police sources.