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Death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi to be marked by week of vigils as Saudi top prosecutor meets Turkish officials

The death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi will be marked by vigils tonight and this week as Turkish investigators looking into his death open talks with Saudi Arabia’s chief prosecutor.

Washington Post columnist Khashoggi was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Turkey on 2 October. Turkish officials have arrested 18 suspects in connection with his alleged murder.

Saudi Arabia has claimed Khashoggi was murdered as part of a “rogue operation”. The kingdom had initially said he left the consulate alive before claiming he had died in a fistfight.

In a show of respect, the National Union of Journalists will hold two vigils for Khashoggi outside Saudi embassies in London and Dublin on Thursday.

memorial for the journalist, hosted by Middle East Monitor, will be held in Westminster, London, tonight with speakers set to include Crispin Blunt MP, NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet, Telegraph columnist Peter Oborne and Middle East Eye editor-in-chief David Hearst.

On its event page, Middle East Monitor wrote: “Jamal Khashoggi was one of the most experienced and accomplished journalists of his generation.

“His professional interest extended far beyond that of his native Saudi Arabia, from Sudan and Algeria to Afghanistan and Palestine.

“On a personal level he was humble and passionate. He was affable and a pleasure to work with. Middle East Monitor is proud to have hosted Jamal Khashoggi at our event in London just one month ago.

Jamal Khashoggi may have been silenced physically but his memory and his thoughts will have a lasting and enlightened impact on young people in the region and journalists across the world.”

The London NUJ event will be a silent vigil, held on the eve of the “International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists”.

A candle-lit vigil demanding justice for Khashoggi was held outside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week.

The killing of Khashoggi has attracted criticism from leaders across the world. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called it a “barbaric assassination” and a pre-meditated “political crime”.

US President Donald Trump dubbed it “one of the worst cover-ups” and a “very bad original concept” but has refused to bring an end to US arms deals with Saudi Arabia.

British Prime Minister Theresa May condemned Khashoggi’s killing in the House of Commons last week.

Saudi Arabia’s Attorney General Saud al-Mojeb met with Turkey’s top prosecutor today and is also expected to make a visit the Saudi consulate.

The meeting comes after Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir said suspects in the killing of Khashoggi would be prosecuted in Saudi Arabia at a Bahrain conference.

Jubeir went on to accuse Western media of being “hysterical” in its coverage of the killing, according to the BBC.

The body of Jamal Khashoggi has still not been recovered by Turkish authorities.

Picture: Middle East Monitor/Handout via Reuters

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