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Khashoggi in 2011
Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi|
13 October 1958
Medina, Saudi Arabia
October 2, 2018 (aged 59)|
Saudi Arabian Consulate
|Alma mater||Indiana State University|
|Occupation||Journalist, columnist, author|
Nabila Khashoggi (cousin)|
Dodi Fayed (cousin)
Adnan Khashoggi (uncle)
Samira Khashoggi (aunt)
Soheir Khashoggi (aunt)
Muhammad Khashoggi (grandfather)
Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi (Arabic: جمال خاشقجي Jamāl Khāshuqjī, Hejazi: [ʒaˈmaːl χaːˈʃoɡʒi], born 1958 – Presumed dead 2 October 2018) was a Saudi Arabian journalist, author, and a former general manager and editor-in-chief of Al-Arab News Channel. He also served as editor for the Saudi Arabian newspaper Al Watan, turning it into a platform for Saudi Arabian progressives.
Khashoggi left Saudi Arabia in September 2017 and went into self exile. He said that the Saudi Arabian government had "banned him from Twitter", and he later wrote newspaper articles critical of the Saudi government. Khashoggi had been sharply critical of Saudi Arabia's crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman, and the country's king, Salman of Saudi Arabia. He also opposed the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen.
On 2 October 2018, Khashoggi entered the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul to obtain documents related to his marriage; he never left the building and was subsequently declared a missing person. Anonymous Turkish police sources have alleged that he was murdered and dismembered inside the consulate. The Saudi Arabian government claims that Khashoggi left the consulate alive through a rear entrance, but Turkish police say that no CCTV recorded him exiting the consulate. On 15 October, an inspection of the consulate, by both Saudi Arabian, followed by Turkish officials, took place. Turkish officials found evidence of "tampering" during the inspection, and evidence that supported the belief Khashoggi was killed.
Early life and education
Jamal Khashoggi was born in Medina in 1958. His grandfather, Muhammad Khashoggi, who was of Turkish origin (Kaşıkçı), married a Saudi Arabian woman and was personal physician to King Abdulaziz Al Saud, the founder of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Khashoggi was the nephew of late, high-profile Saudi Arabian arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi, known for his part in the Iran-Contra scandal, and was estimated to have had a net worth of US$4 billion in the early 1980s. Jamal Khashoggi was a cousin of Dodi Fayed, who was dating the UK's Princess Diana when the two were killed in a car crash in Paris.
Jamal Khashoggi began his career as a regional manager for Tihama Bookstores from 1983 to 1984. Later he worked as a correspondent for the Saudi Gazette and as an assistant manager for Okaz from 1985 to 1987. He continued his career as a reporter for various daily and weekly Arab newspapers from 1987 to 1990, including Al Sharq Al Awsat, Al Majalla and Al Muslimoon. Khashoggi became managing editor and acting editor-in-chief of Al Madina in 1991 and his term lasted until 1999.
From 1991 to 1999, he was a foreign correspondent in such countries as Afghanistan, Algeria, Kuwait, Sudan, and in the Middle East. It is also claimed that he served with both Saudi Arabian Intelligence Agency and possibly the United States in Afghanistan during this period. He then was appointed a deputy editor-in-chief of Arab News, and served in the post from 1999 to 2003.
Khashoggi became the editor-in-chief of the Saudi Arabian daily Al Watan for a short period, less than two months, in 2003. He was fired in May 2003 by the Saudi Arabian ministry of information because he had allowed a columnist to criticize the Islamic scholar Ibn Taymiyya (1263 - 1328), who is considered the founding father of Wahhabism. This incident led to Khashoggi's dubious reputation in the West as a liberal progressive.
After he was fired, Khashoggi went to London in voluntary exile. There he joined the Al Faisal's team as an adviser. He then served as a media aide to Prince Turki Al Faisal while the latter was Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States. In April 2007, Khashoggi began to work as editor-in-chief of Al Watan for a second time.
A column by poet Ibrahim al-Almaee challenging the basic Salafi premises was published in Al Watan in May 2010, which led to Khashoggi's seemingly forced resignation, now for a second time, on 17 May 2010. Al Watan announced that Khashoggi resigned as editor-in-chief "to focus on his personal projects". However, it is thought that he was forced to resign due to official displeasure with articles published in the paper that were critical of the Kingdom's harsh Islamic rules. After his second resignation from Al Watan in 2010, Khashoggi maintained ties with Saudi Arabian elites, including those in its intelligence apparatus. In 2015, he launched the satellite news channel Al-Arab, based in Bahrain outside Saudi Arabia since the country does not allow independent news channels to operate within its borders. The news channel was backed by Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and partnered with U.S. financial news channel Bloomberg Television. However, the channel was on air for less than 11 hours before it was shut down by Bahrain. He was also a political commentator for Saudi Arabian and international channels, including MBC, BBC, Al Jazeera, and Dubai TV. Between June 2012 and September 2016, his opinion columns were regularly published by Al Arabiya.
Citing a report from Middle East Eye, the Independent said in December 2016 that Khashoggi had been banned by Saudi Arabian authorities from publishing or appearing on television "for criticising U.S. President-elect Donald Trump".
Khashoggi relocated to the United States in June 2017 and began writing for The Washington Post in September 2017, continuing thereafter. In the Post, he criticized the Saudi Arabian-led blockade against Qatar, Saudi Arabia's dispute with Lebanon, Saudi Arabia's diplomatic dispute with Canada, and the Kingdom's crackdown on dissent and media. Khashoggi supported some of Crown Prince's reforms, like allowing women to drive, but he condemned the Saudi Arabia's arrest of Loujain al-Hathloul, who was ranked 3rd in the list of Top 100 Most Powerful Arab Women 2015, Eman al-Nafjan, Aziza al-Yousef, and several other women's rights advocates involved in the women to drive movement and the anti male-guardianship campaign.
Speaking to the BBC's Newshour, Khashoggi criticized Israel's settlement building in the occupied Palestinian territories, saying: "There was no international pressure on the Israelis and therefore the Israelis got away with building settlements, demolishing homes."
Kashoggi criticized the Saudi war on Yemen, writing "The longer this cruel war lasts in Yemen, the more permanent the damage will be. The people of Yemen will be busy fighting poverty, cholera and water scarcity and rebuilding their country. The crown prince [Mohammed bin Salman] must bring an end to the violence," and "Saudi Arabia's crown prince must restore dignity to his country — by ending Yemen's cruel war."
According to The Spectator, "With almost two million Twitter followers, he was the most famous political pundit in the Arab world and a regular guest on the major TV news networks in Britain and the United States." In 2018, Khashoggi established a new political party called Democracy for the Arab World Now, posing a political threat to Crown Prince Mohammed. He wrote in a Post column on 3 April 2018 that Saudi Arabia "should return to its pre-1979 climate, when the government restricted hard-line Wahhabi traditions. Women today should have the same rights as men. And all citizens should have the right to speak their minds without fear of imprisonment."
Relationship with Osama bin Laden
Khashoggi was acquainted with Osama bin Laden in the 1980s and 1990s in Afghanistan while Bin Laden was championing his jihad against the Soviets. Khashoggi interviewed bin Laden several times, usually meeting bin Laden in Tora Bora, and once more in Sudan in 1995. During that period, he was employed by Saudi Arabian intelligence agencies to try and influence bin Laden into making a compromise with the Saudi royal family in their rivalry.
It is reported that Khashoggi once tried to persuade bin Laden to quit violence. Khashoggi was the only non-royal Saudi Arabian who knew of the royals' intimate dealing with al-Qaeda in the lead-up to the September 11 terrorist attacks. He dissociated himself from bin Laden following the attacks.
Khashoggi wrote in response to the September 11 attacks: "The most pressing issue now is to ensure that our children can never be influenced by extremist ideas like those 15 Saudis who were misled into hijacking four planes that fine September day, piloting them, and us, straight into the jaws of hell."
Khashoggi was last seen going inside the main entrance of the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul on 2 October 2018, in order to obtain a document that proved he was divorced. This document would allow him to marry his fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, a Turkish citizen, who waited outside. As he did not come out after 4 PM, though the working hours of the consulate were until 3:30 PM, his fiancée reported him missing when the consulate closed. The Saudi Arabian government said that he had left the consulate via a back entrance. The Turkish government said that he was still inside, and his fiancée and friends said that he was missing.
According to numerous anonymous police sources, the Turkish police believe that Khashoggi was tortured and killed inside the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul by a 15-member team brought in from Saudi Arabia for the operation. One anonymous police source claimed that the dead body was chopped to pieces and quietly moved out of the consulate, and all of this was "videotaped to prove the mission had been accomplished and the tape was taken out of the country".
Turkish authorities have claimed that security camera footage of the day of the incident was removed from the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, and that Turkish consulate staff were abruptly told to take a holiday on the day Khashoggi disappeared while inside the building. Turkish police investigators told the media that the recordings from the security cameras did not show any evidence of Khashoggi leaving the consulate. A security camera was located outside the consulate's front which had showed him entering but not leaving, while another camera installed at a preschool opposite of the rear entrance of the consulate also did not show him leaving.
On 7 October, Turkish officials pledged to release evidence showing that Khashoggi was killed. Yasin Aktay, an adviser to the Turkish president, initially said he believed Khashoggi had been killed in the consulate, but on 10 October he claimed that "the Saudi state is not blamed here", something that a journalist for The Guardian saw as Turkey trying not to harm lucrative trade ties and a delicate regional relationship with Saudi Arabia. Turkey then claimed to have audio and video evidence of the killing occurring inside the consulate.
Al-Waqt news quoted informed sources as saying that Mohammad bin Salman had assigned Ahmad Asiri, the deputy head of the Al-Mukhabarat Al-A'amah and the former spokesman for the Saudi Arabian-led coalition in Yemen, with the mission to execute Khashoggi inside the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul. Another military officer with a great deal of experience in dealing with dissidents was the second candidate for the mission. On the same day, Turkish media close to the president published images of what it described as a 15-member "assassination squad" allegedly sent to kill Khashoggi, and of a black van later traveling from the Saudi Arabian consulate to the consul's home.
Reuters reported on 11 October that Turkish officials were investigating whether Khashoggi's Apple Watch would reveal clues as to what happened to him inside the Saudi Arabian consulate, examining whether data from the smartwatch could have been transmitted to the cloud, or his personal phone, which was with his fiancée, Hatice Cengiz.
On 15 October, CNN reported that Saudi Arabia was about to admit to the killing, but would claim that it was an "interrogation gone bad," as opposed to a targeted death squad killing. This claim drew criticism from some, considering that Khashoggi was reportedly dismembered and that his killing was allegedly premeditated, and the circumstances, including the arrival and departure of a team of 15, included forensic specialists presumed to have been present to hide evidence of the crime, on the same day.
On 16 October it was reported by the Middle East Eye that according to an anonymous Turkish source, the murder took about seven minutes and forensic specialist Salah Muhammed al-Tubaigy cut Khashoggi's body into pieces while Khashoggi was still alive, as he and his colleagues listened to music. The source further claimed that "Tubaigy began to cut Khashoggi’s body up on a table in the study while he was still alive," and "There was no attempt to interrogate him. They had come to kill him." Khashoggi was dragged from consul general Mohammad al-Otaibi's office at the Saudi consulate and onto a table in the next room and dismembered alive with a bone-saw. Gruesome screams were heard by witnesses in the consulate.
The Wall Street Journal reports from anonymous sources that Khashoggi was tortured in front of top Saudi diplomat Mohammad al-Otaibi, Saudi Arabia's consul general. Reuters reported that Al-Otaibi left Istanbul for Riyadh on 16 October. His departure came hours before his home was expected to be searched in relation to the journalist's disappearance.
Analysts have suggested that Khashoggi might have been considered especially dangerous by the Saudi Arabian leadership because he was not a long-time dissident, but rather a pillar of the Saudi Arabian establishment who was close to its ruling circles for decades, had worked as an editor at Saudi Arabian news outlets and had been an adviser to a former Saudi Arabian intelligence chief.
On 17 October 2018, a Turkish official stated that there was audio which confirmed the details of Khashoggi's death.
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman claimed Khashoggi left the consulate shortly after the visit. The English-language Arab News on 10 October 2018 reported that the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the U.S., Prince Khalid bin Salman, "condemns ‘malicious leaks and grim rumors’ surrounding Khashoggi disappearance" and that "the reports that suggest that Jamal Khashoggi went missing in the Consulate in Istanbul or that the Kingdom's authorities have detained him or killed him are absolutely false, and baseless". Saudi Arabia threatened to retaliate "if it is [targeted by] any action". Turki Aldakhil, the head of Al Arabiya, the Saudi Arabian-owned pan-Arab television based in Dubai, wrote that "If President Trump was angered by $80 oil, nobody should rule out the price jumping to $100 and $200 a barrel or maybe double that figure." However, the Saudi embassy in Washington said Al Dakhil didn’t represent the official position of Saudi Arabia, and Khalid A. Al-Falih, the Saudi energy minister, said his country "will continue to be a responsible actor and keep oil markets stable." Saudi Arabia is the world's largest oil exporter.
Saudi Arabia's Office of Public Prosecution tweeted that "producing rumors or fake news [that Saudi Arabia's government was involved in the disappearance of Khashoggi] that would affect the public order or public security or sending or resending it via social media or any technical means" is punishable "by five years and a fine of 3 million riyals".
Al Arabiya claimed that reports of Khashoggi’s disappearance inside the Saudi Arabian consulate have been pushed by Qatar. According to the Saudi Arabian daily newspaper Okaz, Qatar has a "50 percent ownership of the Post and has influence over its editorial direction." Saudi Arabian daily newspaper Al Yaum has claimed that members of the death squad were in fact tourists.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan demanded that Saudi Arabian government provide proof for their claims that Khashoggi left the consulate alive, something that Turkish police CCTV did not capture.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Saudi Arabia "to support a thorough investigation of Mr. Khashoggi's disappearance and to be transparent about the results of that investigation." President Trump expressed concern about the fate of Khashoggi. U.S. Senator Chris Murphy wrote that if the reports of Khashoggi's murder are true, "it should represent a fundamental break" in Saudi Arabia–United States relations. Murphy also called for at least a temporary halt in U.S. military support for the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen.
U.S. Senator Rand Paul said that he would attempt to force a vote on blocking the future U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Senator Bob Corker, the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, sent a letter to Trump over Khashoggi’s disappearance. Signed by the entire Committee other than Senator Paul who prepared his own letter, it "instructs the administration to determine whether Khashoggi was indeed kidnapped, tortured, or murdered by the Saudi government and, as the Global Magnitsky Act requires, to respond within 120 days with a determination of sanctions against individuals who may have been responsible."
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders denounced the Trump administration, saying that "Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman feels emboldened by the Trump administration’s unquestioning support." President Trump told journalists: "I know [Senators] are talking about different kinds of sanctions, but [the Saudi Arabians] are spending $110 billion on military equipment and on things that create jobs for this country." Trump, in responding specifically to the Senate's attempt to block the Saudi Arabian arms deal, stated that the blocking of such a deal "would not be acceptable to me." While opposing trade sanctions, Trump remained open to the possibility of other forms of what he described as the "severe punishment" of Saudi Arabia.
The Washington Post reported on 9 October that "the U.S. intelligence intercepted communications of Saudi officials discussing a plan to capture" Khashoggi. The intercepted communications were regarded as significant because Khashoggi is a legal resident of the United States, and is therefore entitled to protection. According to NSA officials, the White House was warned of this threat through official intelligence channels.
According to Rami George Khouri, a professor of journalism at the American University of Beirut, "The case of Jamal Khashoggi, unfortunately, is only the tip of the iceberg...it would only be the most dramatic example of a trend that has been ongoing for at least 30 to 40 years, but which has escalated under [Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammad bin Salman]".
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt met the Saudi Arabian ambassador and warned Saudi Arabia that the long-term friendship between the UK and Saudi Arabia depends on "shared values". The Labour Party's Shadow First Secretary of State, Emily Thornberry, criticized Theresa May's government's response to Khashoggi's disappearance as 'too little, too late'.
Richard Branson issued a statement on 11 October that he was suspending his advisory role for the two Saudi Vision 2030-related projects amidst the Khashoggi controversy. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, Viacom CEO Robert Bakish, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, AOL co-founder Steve Case, Richard Branson's Virgin Group, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, the Financial Times, Bloomberg, CNN, The New York Times, The Economist, CNBC, and Ford Motor chairman Bill Ford all withdrew their participation in the Saudi Future Investment Initiative (FII), which is in its second year. Y Combinator CEO Sam Altman announced that he is suspending his "involvement with the NEOM advisory board until the facts regarding Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance are known."
Bahrain's Foreign minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa called for a boycott of Uber in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, urging to "boycott anyone who boycotts Saudi Arabia." The Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia invested $3.5 billion in Uber in 2016.
In the face of the incident, professional wrestling promotion WWE faced a large amount of criticism around the world for going forward with their event in Saudi Arabia, Crown Jewel, resulting in calls to cancel the show, most notably from several United States senators, including Lindsey Graham and Bob Menendez. English comedian and political commentator John Oliver also weighed in on the controversy on his show Last Week Tonight. Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs, who wrestles for WWE under the ring name Kane, is scheduled to take part in the show. A spokesperson for the mayor was quoted as saying that "Mayor Jacobs won't speculate on Mr. Khashoggi's disappearance, (...) however, he and his family are in the mayor's thoughts and prayers." Jacobs still intends to wrestle as Kane at the show.
On the evening of 14 October, President Erdoğan and King Salman announced that a deal had been made for a "jointing working group" to examine the case. On 15 October the Turkish Foreign Ministry announced that an "inspection" of the consulate, by both Turkish and Saudi Arabian officials, would take place that afternoon. According to an anonymous source from the Attorney General's office, Turkish officials found evidence of "tampering" during the inspection, and evidence that supports the belief Khashoggi was killed. Turkish President Erdoğan said that "investigation is looking into many things such as toxic materials and those materials being removed by painting them over".
On the same day, after speaking to the Saudi Arabian king by phone, President Trump said that Salman “denies any knowledge of whatever may have happened... The denial was very, very strong, It sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers. Who knows?” On 16 October, Secretary Pompeo "reiterated U.S. concern over Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance" in a meeting with King Salman in Riyadh, while also thanking the king for his "commitment to a thorough, transparent investigation".
On 17 October the Daily Sabah, a news outlet close to the Turkish president, published the names and pictures of the 15-member Saudi death squad that traveled to Istanbul on private jets from Saudi Arabia. Additional details about identities were also reported along with their aliases. The outlet named and detailed:
- Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb (Arabic: ماهر عبد العزيز مترب) (Born 1971): Arrived at Istanbul Atatürk Airport on a private jet. Went through passport control at 3:38 a.m. Stayed at Mövenpick Hotel. Went through passport control again at 5:49 p.m. before departing on a private jet. Has close ties to Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, as photographs show him disembarking from airplanes with the crown prince in Madrid and Paris. Mutreb was also photographed next to the crown prince on visits to the U.N. and U.S.
- Salah Muhammed al-Tubaigy (Arabic: صلاح محمد الطبيقي) (Born 1971): Arrived at Istanbul Atatürk Airport on a private jet belonging to Sky Prime Aviation. Went through passport control at 3:38 a.m. Stayed at Mövenpick Hotel. Went through passport control again at 8:29 p.m. before departing with the same private jet. Name is also spelled Al-Tubaigy. A doctor and the head of Forensic Evidence at the Saudi General Security Department. Is allegedly responsible for dismembering Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate.
- Abdulaziz Mohammed Al-Hasawi (Arabic: عبد العزيز محمد الحساوي) (Born 1987): Arrived at Istanbul Atatürk Airport on board a commercial flight. Went through passport control at 1:43 a.m. Stayed at Wyndham Grand Hotel. Went through passport control again at 8:28 p.m. before departing on a private jet belonging to Sky Prime Aviation. A member of the Mohammed bin Salman's security detail as cited by a French professional who had previously worked with the Saudi royal family.
- Thaer Ghaleb Al-Harbi (Arabic: ثائر غالب الحربي) (Born 1979): Arrived at Istanbul Atatürk Airport on a private jet belonging to Sky Prime Aviation. Went through passport control at 3:41 a.m. Stayed at Mövenpick Hotel. Went through passport control again at 5:44 p.m. before departing with the same private jet. Also known as Al-Barbi. A high-ranking Saudi Royal Guard, promoted to the position for his valor in the defense of the crown prince's quarters in Jeddah, Saudi media reported.
- Mohammed Saad Al-Zahrani (Arabic: محمد سعد الزهراني) (Born 1988): Arrived at Istanbul Atatürk Airport on a commercial flight. Went through passport control at 4:29 p.m. Stayed at Wyndham Grand Hotel. Went through passport control again at 9:44 p.m. before departing on a private jet belonging to Sky Prime Aviation. A member of the Saudi Royal Guard. Traveled with a passport under the name of another Saudi Royal Guard member. In addition, footage shows the Royal Guard member wearing a different name tag.
- Meshal Saad Al-Bostani (Arabic: مشعل سعد البستاني) (Born 1987): Went through passport control at 1:45 a.m. Stayed at Wyndham Grand Hotel. Went through passport control again at 9:46 p.m. before departing on a private jet belonging to Sky Prime Aviation. Al Jazeera added that Meshal is a Lieutenant in the Saudi Air Force.
- Naif Hassan Al-Arefe (Arabic: نايف حسن العريفي) (Born 1986): Arrived on a commercial flight. Went through passport control at 4:12 p.m. Stayed at Wyndham Grand Hotel. Went through passport control again at 9:45 p.m. before departing on a private jet belonging to Sky Prime Aviation.
- Mustafa Mohammed Al-Madani (Arabic: مصطفى محمد المدني) (Born 1961): Arrived at Istanbul Atatürk Airport on a private jet belonging to Sky Prime Aviation. Went through passport control at 3:41 a.m. Stayed at Mövenpick Hotel. Went through passport control again at 12:18 a.m. before departing on a commercial flight.
- Mansur Uthman Abahussein (Arabic: منصور عثمان أباحسين) (Born 1972): Arrived at Istanbul Atatürk Airport on a commercial flight. Went through passport control at 4:13 p.m. Stayed at Wyndham Grand Hotel. Went through passport control again at 9:45 p.m. before departing.
- Waleed Abdullah Al-Shehri (Arabic: وليد عبد الله الشهري) (Born 1980): Arrived at Istanbul Atatürk Airport on a private jet belonging to Sky Prime Aviation. Went through passport control at 3:41 a.m. Stayed at Mövenpick Hotel. Went through passport control again at 5:44 p.m. before departing on the same private jet.
- Turki Musharraf Al-Shehri (Arabic: تركي مشرف الشهري) (Born 1982): Arrived on a private jet. Went through passport control at 3:39 a.m. Stayed at Mövenpick Hotel. Went through passport control again at 5:44 p.m. before departing on a private jet.
- Fahad Shabib Al-Balawi (Arabic: فهد شبيب البلوي) (Born 1985): Arrived on a private jet belonging to Sky Prime Aviation. Stayed at Mövenpick Hotel. Went through passport control at 5:46 p.m. before departing on the same private jet.
- Saif Saad Al-Qahtani (Arabic: سيف سعد القحطاني) (Born 1973): Arrived at Istanbul Atatürk Airport on board a private jet belonging to Sky Prime Aviation. Went through passport control at 3:41 a.m. Stayed at Mövenpick Hotel. Went through passport control again at 12:20 a.m. before departing on a commercial flight.
- Khalid Aedh Al-Taibi (Arabic: خالد عايض الطيبي) (Born 1988): Arrived at Istanbul Atatürk Airport on board a commercial flight. Went through passport control at 1:44 a.m. Stayed at Wyndham Grand Hotel. Went through passport control again at 8:28 p.m. before departing.
- Badir Lafi Al-Otaibi (Arabic: بدر لافي العتيبي) (Born 1973): Arrived at Istanbul Atatürk Airport on a private jet belonging to Sky Prime Aviation. Went through passport control at 3:41 a.m. Stayed at Mövenpick Hotel. Went through passport control again at 5:44 p.m. before departing with the same private jet.
Sources stated that Ahmad Asiri was assigned by Mohammad bin Salman to carry out the execution. Asiri, the deputy head of the Al-Mukhabarat Al-A'amah and the former spokesman for the Saudi Arabian-led coalition in Yemen, was chosen over another military officer experienced in dealing with dissidents.
- Human rights in Saudi Arabia
- Freedom of the press
- Israa al-Ghomgham – Saudi human rights activist facing execution by beheading
- Sheikh Baqir al-Nimr – Dissident cleric executed for criticism of the Saudi regime
- Raif Badawi – Imprisoned Saudi dissident, writer and activist
- Hamza Kashgari – Pro-democracy activist and columnist imprisoned for blasphemy
- Dina Ali Lasloom – Imprisoned Saudi asylum seeker
- Samar Badawi – Imprisoned Saudi activist
- Manal al-Sharif – Saudi human rights activist
- Mishaal bint Fahd bin Mohammed Al Saud – Saudi princess executed for alleged adultery
- Sara bint Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud – Exiled Saudi princess and regime critic
- Louis Antoine – Executed by Napoleon, causing an international scandal.
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