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The Death of Jamal Khashoggi - by Valeria Armenta

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    • Valeria Armenta at Pima Community College

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    How can someone come to their death within their country’s consulate? Although it may be hard to believe that became the fate of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi on October 2, 2018. As he entered the consulate in Turkey to collect paperwork that stated his separation from his previous spouse he never walked out again.

    Jamal Khashoggi was born on October 13, 1958, to a wealthy well- connected family in Saudi Arabia with ties to the royals. He lived and studied there until he moved to the United States to attend Indiana State University where he obtained a degree in business administration in 1982. He then launched his career in Journalism and became a correspondent for several different English and Arab language papers, including the Saudi Gazette, Asharq Al-Awsat, Al-Majalla, and Al-Muslimoon.(Dawn, 2021) Saudi Arabia is one of the most restrictive counties in the world. Although Khashoggi was a loyalist he was not afraid to voice his opinion which led to his dismissal on more than on occasion.

    On May 21, 2018, Khashoggi publishes a column about the arrest of activist which stated “The message is clear to all: Activism of any sort has to be within the government, and no independent voice or counter-opinion will be allowed. Everyone must stick to the party line” (Pen, 2022). Could this have been what lead to his demise?  In 2017 A year before his murder, Khashoggi went into self-imposed exile in the United States but a few months after started writing for the Washington Post. “In the United States, Khashoggi took full advantage of his new freedom. He wrote and spoke boldly, advocating for freedom of speech and democracy. He criticized the Saudi regime's imprisonment of political activists, and the Saudi's conduct in the war with Yemen, calling for a ceasefire and peace talks”(Dawn, 2021).

    As this continued to develop Saudi rulers followed Khashoggi’s activities closely because they were disturbed by the constant criticism of Saudi policies. They began to pressure Khashoggi to remain silent and when they saw that he was not defied they decided to escalate but were hesitant to do so as Khashoggi remained in the United Stated. When they obtained information that he would be traveling abroad they seized the opportunity. “By the time Khashoggi entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in the early afternoon of October 2, 2018, the Saudis had flow in a special operations team to murder the defiant dissident”.(Dawn, 2021) Leading to the investigation upon the crowned Prince of Saudi Arabia and the contradicting information on how the death of Jamal Khashoggi unfolded.

    Is this what comes with advocating freedom of speech and democracy? Journalism can become a very dangerous career if you offend, uncover, or contradict someone with power. How is that far? We are supposed to be aware of what is happening in this world and unfortunately those with power/dictation want to hide it. Journalists are only reporting what they find is important for people to know and feel like it is being hidden from the public eye. They voice their opinion because they know that there are millions of people that have the same perspective as they do, and they want to make a change. Silencing them will only infuriate those seeking the change and they will begin to retaliate. The worst thing is that the people responsible for these acts go unprosecuted. I can only imagine the mixed emotions those close to Mr. Khashoggi felt when they couldn’t find a concrete answer as to had transpired behind those closed embassy door back on October 2nd, 2018. The fate of Jamal Khashoggi is one that no one wishes to come across.


    Jamal Khashoggi. Committee to Protect Journalists. (2021, April 28). Retrieved December 9, 2022, from

    Jamal Khashoggi. PEN America. (2022, December 7). Retrieved December 9, 2022, from

    Kennedy, M., & Romo, V. (2021, February 26). U.S. intelligence: Saudi crown prince approved operation to kill Jamal Khashoggi. NPR. Retrieved December 9, 2022, from

    Who was Jamal Khashoggi? DAWN. (2021, February 26). Retrieved December 9, 2022, from


    This page titled The Death of Jamal Khashoggi - by Valeria Armenta is shared under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Valeria Armenta at Pima Community College.