The Hong Kong Journalist Association (HKJA) strongly condemns the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi consulate in Istanbul. HKJA is shocked and outraged by this tragic incident. We hold the view that any violence against journalists are tantamount to attack on free speech and press freedom.
Jamal Khashoggi disappeared after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul early this month. Turkish media reported that Khashoggi was tortured to death by an assassination squad and that his body dismembered. The government of Saudi Arabia had earlier denied knowledge of his whereabouts and claimed that he had left the building alive. The Saudi authorities admitted on 20 October that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate, and a total of 18 Saudi nationals have been arrested in connection with the killing. Two senior Saudi officials have also been sacked, including Saud al-Qahtani, a close aide to Crown Prince Mohammed.
The Saudi government said that according to an initial investigation a fight broke out between Khashoggi and people who met him in the consulate, resulting in Khashoggi‘s death. However, the Saudi statement did not explain the causes of the incident, nor the whereabouts of Khashoggi’s body.
HKJA reiterates that any form of violence and threat will not deter journalists and others in the fourth estate from defending freedom of press and speech.
We are deeply grieved over the death of Mr. Khashoggi and extend our deepest condolences to his family, fiancée, and friends.
Hong Kong Journalists Association
22 October 2018