Dingell leads Democratic House Members in Letter to Saudi Ambassador Calling for Transparency in Jamal Khashoggi Affair
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI) led 27 of her Democratic House colleagues in calling for the Saudi government to support an independent investigation into the whereabouts of Jamal Khashoggi, a US-based journalist and writer who went missing after entering the Saudi Arabian consulate in Ankara, Turkey on October 2. There is no record of Mr. Khashoggi having left the consulate, and there have been conflicting reports about his fate and whereabouts at this time.
“The United States believes in a free and open press and takes the safety and security of those expressing perspectives on all sides very seriously, and we are concerned about these allegations and the fate of Mr. Khashoggi,” the lawmakers wrote. “Journalists around the world must be allowed to conduct their jobs without fear of retaliation. With this in mind, we are requesting the full cooperation of the Saudi government into an independent investigation of Mr. Khashoggi’s whereabouts.”
In the letter to the Saudi Ambassador to the United States, Dingell and her colleagues call for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to cooperate fully with an independent investigation into Mr. Khashoggi’s whereabouts.
The full text of the letter is available below. In addition to Dingell, the letter was signed by Representatives Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), James P. McGovern (D-MA), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Jared Huffman (D-CA), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Susan A. Davis (D-CA), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Terri Sewell (D-AL), Karen Bass (D-CA), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Adam Smith (D-WA), Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), Daniel W. Lipinski (D-IL), Al Green (D-TX), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Gene Green (D-TX), Jackie Speier (D-CA), and Barbara Lee (D-CA).
Dear Mr. Ambassador:
We are writing to you with concerns about the recent disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi journalist and resident of the United States. Mr. Khashoggi was last seen entering the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018, in order to fill out documents relating to a pending marriage. However, he has not been seen since this time, and there is no record of Mr. Khashoggi having left the consulate. Additionally, there have been conflicting reports circulating in U.S. and international media relating to his safety and whereabouts at this time.
Mr. Khashoggi was a respected writer and journalist who has commented extensively on Middle East and Saudi matters. As a result of his criticism of the Saudi government, he had evinced fears for his safety and had relocated to the United States in July 2017 due to these concerns. The United States Constitution recognizes the importance of a free and robust media, and Mr. Khashoggi’s perspective and unique voice played a key role in providing context and understanding of the current events and latest developments in the Middle East political landscape.
The United States believes in a free and open press and takes the safety and security of those expressing perspectives on all sides very seriously, and we are concerned about these allegations and the fate of Mr. Khashoggi. Journalists around the world must be allowed to conduct their jobs without fear of retaliation. With this in mind, we are requesting the full cooperation of the Saudi government into an independent investigation of Mr. Khashoggi’s whereabouts. We appreciate your consideration of this matter and look forward to a full and fair accounting of the facts of Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance.