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Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancée criticizes the Trump administration’s response to his murder



Hatice Cengiz, the fiancée of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi, spoke out on Wednesday in a scathing New York Times op-ed about Washington’s lackluster response to his murder.

The article comes a day after United Nations special rapporteur Agnes Callamard released a detailed report outlining Khashoggi’s killing. The 107-page report found “credible evidence” that Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman was involved with the murder, which involved Khashoggi being drugged, suffocated, and dismembered in a secret mission. Callamard blasted the United States and other other countries for not putting more pressure on Saudi Arabia.

Cengiz similarly expressed her disappointment over the US’s inaction in the months following her fiancée’s death. She noted that while members of Congress described their shock over his murder, little has been done to ensure others avoid a similar fate.

“His loss was still fresh in the minds of the Democrats and Republicans I met. Individually, they all expressed their sympathies and spoke to me about how perhaps some progress might be made in the days ahead. Yet I sense that they also felt embarassed: no solid action has been taken yet,” she wrote. “Washington has chosen not to use its strong ties and leverage with Riyadh to get the Saudis to reveal the truth about Jamal’s murder and to ensure those responsible are held accountable.”

Following the UN report, Adel al-Jubeir, the kingdom’s minister of state for foreign affairs, dismissed the findings, writing in a Twitter post that the report included “contradictions and baseless allegations.” While Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Donald Trump have spoken out against Khashoggi’s slaying, they continue to maintain a strong relationship with Saudi Arabia.

But, that relationship has created discord in Washington. Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers have expressed anger over Trump’s multibillion-dollar arms sale to Saudi Arabia and, on Thursday, the Senate voted to block weapon sales to the Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates. Trump is expected to veto the resolution.

In her op-ed, Cengiz noted that, even after Khashoggi’s death, Saudi Arabia “reportedly plans to execute three imprisoned reform scholars — Salman al-Awda, Awad al-Qarni, and Ali al-Omari.”

“Jamal will never come back but something could be done to save these people, for whom he fought,” she wrote. “President Trump has tried to look the other way. But he has the power to save the lives of the three men.”

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