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Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Journalists

CIoJ condemns Jamal Khashoggi killing

Press release
Release date: 22 October 2018

The Chartered Institute of Journalists condemns with disgust and outrage the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its admission that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed in the grounds of its consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on October 2nd.

Institute Vice President, Professor Tim Crook says: “A journalist was slaughtered in premises protected by diplomatic immunity in a Nato state simply because an authoritarian state objected to his writings in the Washington Post and Guardian.”

He said: “The world’s longest standing professional association for journalists has watched with horror as this ghastly narrative has unfolded and revealed utter contempt for the right of journalists to do their job without torture and murder.”

He added: “This case underlines the importance of amending the Treaty of Rome 1998 to enable the International Court of Justice to pursue heads of state and other individuals for culpability in the unwarranted targeting of media workers as a crime against humanity, and to also make this a specific war crime during times of conflict.”

The CIoJ is deeply concerned that Mr Khashoggi’s killing has taken place at a time when populist politicians in the West have created a climate where mainstream journalism is characterised as “fake news” and professional journalists as “enemies of the people.”

Professor Crook has also condemned “the light-hearted joshing indulged in by US President Donald Trump about a Republican congressman’s criminal conviction for assaulting a Guardian reporter in 2017.”

He said it was “inappropriate and unbecoming of the Head of State of the USA to trivialise violence against journalists at a time when Mr Khashoggi’s disappearance and killing was the subject of acute international concern.”

The Institute backs the call from four Human Rights NGOs for an independent investigation by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres into Mr Khashoggi’s death.

The request for the probe from the United Nations has been made by The Committee to Protect Journalists, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders.