Khashoggi: Nigerian journalists, CSOs protest at Saudi embassy

Nigerian journalists at the Saudi Arabian Embassy protesting the killing of Jamal Khashoggi
Nigerian journalists at the Saudi Arabian Embassy protesting the killing of Jamal Khashoggi

A group of media rights activists on Friday protested at the Saudi Arabian embassy in Abuja to demand justice over the gruesome murder of Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.

Mr Khashoggi was assassinated on October 2 at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey when he had gone to receive some documents for his planned marriage.

A team of assassins were reported to have flown into Turkey from Saudi Arabia to kill Mr Khashoggi.

The journalist had departed Saudi Arabia, his country, for the United States, following growing fears about his safety, but was killed in what has been described by officials as premeditated murder.

Mr Khashoggi’s death has drawn wide criticism on the Saudi Arabian monarchy, especially the country’s crown prince, Mohammed Bin Salman, who is accused of ordering the attack.

On Friday, in Abuja, activists under the platform of the Coalition of Nigerian Media and Civil Society Groups demanded justice for Mr Khashoggi. They also asked the Nigerian government to re-open similar cases of journalists murdered by suspected government officials across the country.

According to a statement signed by Peter Nkanga and Chido Onuma, the group urged Saudi Arabian citizens to understand that they deserve better than what they described as “a blood thirsty leadership.”

“With deep grief and greatest sorrow in memory of journalists killed in Nigeria and around the world, the Coalition of Nigerian Media and Civil Society Groups are gathered here to make three statements:

“First, we are gathered here to commiserate with the family and friends of journalist, Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi, and the good people of Saudi Arabia.

“We are gathered here to tell the people of Saudi Arabia that you deserve better. You deserve better than a blood thirsty government that kills its citizens at will, and with total impunity.

“No human being should ever have to face such a bestial death. Jamal did not deserve to die, let alone in the one place where he should have felt safest in a foreign land – the Saudi Arabia Consulate.

“Let us think about it critically. Do we know how many people have died in similar circumstances at Saudi Embassies and Consulates around the world? Jamal Khashoggi’s blood is crying for Justice!”

The group said the protest is to prove to the world that Mr Khashoggi’s murder is a crime against the world.

“And that is why we are gathered here, to tell the Saudi government that injury to one is injury to all. The world abhors the evil perpetrated against Jamal. We are here to say Jamal’s life and death will never be in vain. His blood will keep speaking for generations to come and his legacy will forever remain.

“We are here to demand only one thing from the King and the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia:

“The person(s) who gave the order for the bestial murder of journalist, Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi, and the person(s) who carried the order, All of them MUST be brought to account.

“The second reason we are gathered here is in memory of our own Nigerian journalists, too many killed in the line of duty, and in total impunity.

“Just as we call on the Saudi government, so also, we call on the Nigerian government to put an end to impunity for crimes against journalists.”

The group also recalled the death of late Nigerian journalist, Dele Giwa.
“This month, 32 years ago, we still remember the murder of journalist, Dele Giwa, killed via a parcel bomb delivered to him on October 19, 1986. That case smacks of government conspiracy.

“We are here to tell the Nigerian government to take into account that in 32 years since Dele Giwa’s assassination, countless murders of journalists have occurred, and not one has been conclusive to bring the perpetrators to justice. We therefore call on Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, to do what any conscionable government would do:

“Order the reopening of impartial, independent, and transparent investigations into the murders of all journalists killed in the country and ensure their killers don’t go unpunished.

“When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes a duty! The call was sounded, even on short notice, yet we all turned up and decided to take action to defend our civil rights,” the group said.

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