Jamal Khashoggi: How Saudi Arabia 'make other dissidents disappear'

The assassination of Mr Khashoggi shocked the world for its brutality and blatant disregard for international law. The journalist was an ardent critic of the Crown Prince in his articles for the Washington Post – eventually leading to his death in the Saudi consulate in Turkey. However, the regime makes sure that no dissidents are safe – wherever they are in the world.

A new investigation has highlighted several cases of dissident activists and writers going into hiding, even when abroad.

Mr Khashoggi’s death outside of the Kingdom may have sent these voices further into the abyss for fear of Saudi agents operating abroad.

In Dusseldorf, Germany, Prince Khaled bin Farhan al-Saud was a rare voice calling out for human rights reforms in his native country.

He was almost tricked into revisiting the country last June – four months before Mr Khashoggi’s death.

The Saudi Embassy in Cairo, Egypt, had contacted his family to reportedly offer him $5.5million to mend relations.

However, he had to visit a Saudi Embassy or consulate to collect it – a proposal that, despite the incident with Mr Khashoggi not occurring yet, seemed suspicious.

Across the Atlantic in Montreal, Canada, Omar Abdulaziz, who was a close associate of Mr Khashoggi, had his phone hacked by Saudi authorities.

Two royal court representatives came to deliver a message to the activist to return to his native Saudi Arabia – again, the suspicious message was not heeded.

According to the investigation carried out by Vanity Fair, Saudi dissidents are often spied on online thanks to the high-tech system designed by royal advisor Saud al-Qahtani.

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There is also heavy concern over the use of Saudi foreign agents.

In ‘Murder in Istanbul: Jamal Khashoggi And The Crown Prince’, journalist Owen Wilson claimed that the Kingdom wanted to originally kill Mr Khashoggi in London.

After being rebuffed by the security services however, they intercepted him in Turkey.

He wrote: “In Riyadh, the Saudis were actively looking for a suitable foreign location to deploy their rendition team against Jamal.”

However, a document was discovered last year that showed a Kingdom-inspired plan to bring dissidents back to Saudi Arabia.

It reportedly showed “internal intelligence documents which appeared to show the initiative to bring back such dissidents as well as the specific one involving Khashoggi.

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“There is a standing order to negotiate the return of dissidents peacefully; which gives them the authority to act without going back to the leadership.”

Foreign agents have allegedly targeted exiled activist Iyad el-Baghdadi in Oslo, Norway.

He was only saved by Norwegian intelligence, which suggested he was in danger.

Mr El-Baghdadi had linked up with Mr Khashogi in the past – making him a target.

Prince Sultan bin Turki was successfully targeted in 2003, however.

Swiss prosecutors found that he had been drugged and secretly flown out of Europe to Saudi Arabia, where he remained under house arrest for almost a decade.

Poet Nawaf al-Rasheed suffered a similar fate in Kuwait – stopped at the airport, Mr al-Rasheed, who descends from a rival clan to the House of Saud, was forcibly returned to his native country.

He was then held for a year without being charged for a crime.

With numerous other figures still in hiding, unwilling to talk or successfully targeted by the Kingdom, the investigation suggests that Saudi dissidents always have to be on the lookout – or fear the worst.

source: express.co.uk