Journalists under threat - United States

US needs more time to respond to Khashoggi death

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation has designated Nov 2 as the International Day To End Impunity For Crimes Against Journalists. It has also launched a global #TruthNeverDies campaign and with the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, urges news publishers worldwide to raise awareness of journalist killings and the cases where those responsible went unpunished. The Straits Times looks at conditions in Pakistan and India, which rank 9th and 14th respectively on a list of 14 countries identified by the Committee to Protect Journalists where such impunity is entrenched.

A demonstrator holds a poster picturing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and a lightened candle during a gathering outside the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul, on Oct 25, 2018.

WASHINGTON • US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said it would be a "handful more weeks" before the United States had enough evidence to impose sanctions in response to the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Mr Pompeo, in a US radio interview, said President Donald Trump had made it clear that Washington would respond to the killing. He said the administration is "reviewing putting sanctions on the individuals that we have been able to identify to date that... were engaged in that murder".

"It'll take us probably a handful more weeks before we have enough evidence to actually put those sanctions in place, but I think we'll be able to get there," Mr Pompeo said on Thursday.

Mr Khashoggi, who lived in the US and wrote columns for the Washington Post, went to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct 2 to collect some documents, but he never reappeared. Riyadh initially denied any role in his disappearance, but eventually identified 18 suspects.

Days after the disappearance, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman described Mr Khashoggi as a dangerous Islamist in a phone call with Mr Trump's son-in-law, Mr Jared Kushner, and National Security Adviser John Bolton, according to people familiar with the discussion.

The Crown Prince said the journalist was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, a group long opposed by senior Trump officials, and urged Mr Kushner and Mr Bolton to preserve the US-Saudi alliance.

Mr Khashoggi's family said he was not a member of the group.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 03, 2018, with the headline US needs more time to respond to Khashoggi death. Subscribe