Khashoggi widow urges US to hold Saudis accountable three years later

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The widow of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi on Friday questioned US President Joe Biden’s commitment to hold the kingdom accountable, three years after the brutal murder of the writer.

On the occasion of the anniversary, Hatice Cengiz traveled to Washington for a demonstration in front of the Saudi embassy and a night vigil near the US Capitol, where she revealed a portrait of Khashoggi made from newspaper columns.

He expressed his dismay that days before the anniversary, Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, met with the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), who according to US intelligence ordered the assassination.

“Is this what the responsibility that Biden promised looks like?” He asked at the candlelight vigil organized by human rights groups.

“MBS took Jamal and the whole world from me. Will you hold him accountable or will you reward these killers?” Cengiz said, referring to the 36-year-old heir.

Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi who lived in self-exile in the United States, wrote critically about MBS in columns in The Washington Post.

On October 2, 2018, she entered the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul to arrange her marriage to Cengiz, who is Turkish. According to US and Turkish officials, a Saudi assault squad awaited him, strangled him and dismembered his body, which has never been recovered.

Then-US President Donald Trump downplayed the episode, saying it was more important for Saudi Arabia to buy American weapons and share hostility toward Iran.

Biden promised a tougher approach, declassifying intelligence and imposing sanctions on the Saudis, though not on the crown prince himself.

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