The murdered Saudi journalist’s fiancee says Khashoggi’s death is an international symbol of injustice.
Rabat – The son of the murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has announced the family’s forgiveness toward his father’s killers. However, Khashoggi’s fiancee says giving forgiveness is not the son’s right.
Salah Khashoggi released the statement on Twitter in light of Ramadan, writing, “In this blessed night of the blessed month [of Ramadan] we remember God’s saying: If a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah.”
Salah continued, “Therefore, we the sons of the martyr Jamal Khashoggi announce that we pardon those who killed our father, seeking reward [from] God almighty.”
Khashoggi’s fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, responded by tweeting, “His ambush and heinous murder does not have a statue (sic) of limitations and no one has the right to pardon his killers. I and others will not stop until we get #JusticeforJamal.”
Under Islamic law in Saudi Arabia, Salah’s expression of pardon is significant. If a victim’s family pardons the perpetrator of the crime, punishment may be reduced.
In this case, Saudi Arabia convicted five individuals of the journalist’s murder, leaving many to wonder if the judicial system would uphold their death sentences.
Like Cengiz, activists and politicians regard the murder as an international symbol of injustice, a violation of human rights, and suppression of public political opinion and share her opinion toward the family’s forgiveness.
Some have rejected Salah Khashoggi’s statement and Saudi Arabi’s avowed support of the Khashoggi family, calling them attempts to “whitewash” the murder by redirecting Khashoggi’s case to familial matters.
In 2018, Khashoggi, a contributor for the Washington Post and critic of the Saudi government, went to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to retrieve documents necessary to marry Cengiz. He had been self-exiling in the United States since 2017.
According to investigators, while Cengiz waited outside, Khashoggi was murdered and his body dismembered.
Khashoggi’s death caused worldwide outrage, and many suspect that high ranking Saudi officials, including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, ordered the killing because of Khashoggi’s political publications.
Saudi officials repeatedly changed their account of the event under investigations. However, authorities eventually admitted to the killing, claiming it was carried out by a team tasked with returning the journalist to Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia then carried out a secretive trial against five unnamed men, finding them guilty, and sentencing them to death.
Turkish investigations never recovered Khashoggi’s remains.
International human rights groups, including the One Free Press Coalition, list Khashoggi’s murder as one of the top most urgent cases of injustice against journalists worldwide.