Press release

Turkey: Authorities Abdicate Responsibility, Deny Justice in Khashoggi Case

The Turkish authorities’ decision to hand the case of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder to Saudi Arabia is a travesty of justice and a victory for authoritarian impunity.

In response to a Turkish court’s announcement that it will transfer the murder trial of Jamal Khashoggi to Saudi Arabia, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“Turkey’s decision to transfer the trial of Jamal Khashoggi’s alleged murderers to Saudi Arabia, a nation without an independent judicial system and whose leader has been directly linked to the case, is not only a gross miscarriage of justice, but is also indicative of the deterioration of the rule of law in Turkey,” said Michael J. Abramowitz, president of Freedom House. “This decision likely violates the Turkish constitution and criminal code, and it will certainly lead to the denial of justice for Khashoggi in the wake of his heinous murder. This is a purely political decision that degrades the dignity of Turkey and the rule of law and effectively confers impunity on the Saudi regime.”

On October 2, 2018, Jamal Khashoggi, a US-based journalist and critic of the Saudi government, was murdered and likely dismembered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, where he sought the paperwork needed to remarry.
Khashoggi, once an adviser to the Saudi government, was a permanent resident of the United States when he was murdered in an act of transnational repression that was likely orchestrated by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Khashoggi left Saudi Arabia in 2017, fearing for his safety after Riyadh cracked down on human rights defenders.
Turkey is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2022 and Not Free in Freedom on the Net 2021. Saudi Arabia is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2022 and Not Free in Freedom on the Net 2021.