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Sen. Rob Portman seeks probe into disappearance of Saudi journalist

October 11, 2018

Sen. Rob Portman seeks probe into disappearance of Saudi journalist

WASHINGTON, D. C. - U.S. Sen. Rob Portman on Wednesday signed onto a letter asking President Donald Trump to investigate the disappearance of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and explore sanctions against Saudi Arabia if finds he was the victim of foul play.

Khashoggi - who was living in self-imposed exile in the United States - disappeared on Oct. 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul where he was obtaining paperwork that would allow him to marry his Turkish fiance.

Among the people that Turkish officials say were involved in killing exiled journalist Jamal Khashoggi: A forensic evidence chief at Saudi Arabia’s internal security agency, a Saudi special forces officer, 2 apparent members of the Saudi royal guard. https://t.co/cn8W9SGF5H— The New York Times (@nytimes) October 10, 2018

Saudi officials claim he left their facility unharmed but have not presented surveillance videos of their compound to prove he departed. Officials in Turkey say they believe Khashoggi was killed in the consulate.

Portman joined a bipartisan group of more than a dozen U.S. Senators that invoked a 2016 law that allows a presidential administration to impose sanctions on individuals anywhere in the world who commit human rights violations or acts of corruption.

We must demand answers and accountability about what happened to Jamal Khashoggi. Today and every day, we must always fight back against any threat to a free press.— Sherrod Brown (@SenSherrodBrown) October 10, 2018

“The recent disappearance of Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi suggests that he could be a victim of a gross violation of internationally recognized human rights, which includes “torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, prolonged detention without charges and trial, causing the disappearance of persons by the abduction and clandestine detention of those persons, and other flagrant denial of the right to life, liberty, or the security of person.” their letter says. “Therefore, we request that you make a determination on the imposition of sanctions pursuant to the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act with respect to any foreign person responsible for such a violation related to Mr. Khashoggi.”

VIDEO: Turkish media close to the president published images on Wednesday of what it described as a 15-member “assassination squad” allegedly sent to target Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. https://t.co/4EUaJVco8t— The Associated Press (@AP) October 10, 2018

President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he spoke to the Saudi government about Khashoggi, a critic of the current Saudi government.

“This is a bad situation,” Trump said. “We cannot let this happen to reporters, to anybody. We can’t let this happen. And we’re going to get the bottom of it. Okay?

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