Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi feared kidnapped while visiting consulate in Turkey

Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi feared kidnapped while visiting consulate in Turkey

He has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since previous year, saying he feared arrest if he remained in Saudi Arabia.

After an initial period of silence Saudi Arabia said the consulate was working with Turkish authorities "to uncover the circumstances of the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi after he left the consulate building". "We don't know where he is".

He gave her his mobile phones for safekeeping, a common occurrence as many embassies routinely require that phones be left outside as a security precaution.

Saudi Arabia's Consulate in Istanbul is insisting a missing Saudi contributor to The Washington Post left its building before disappearing, directly contradicting comments by Turkish officials who say they believe he is still there. "We do not have information revealing the contrary", he said.

"Mr. Khashoggi visited the consulate to request paperwork related to his marital status and exited shortly thereafter", the official said. "I hope this issue will be resolved smoothly".

It said in a tweet that Adel Merdad, the Saudi undersecretary for political and economic affairs, had talks with Turkish Ambassador Erdogan Kok in Riyadh.

The fiancée, who asked not to be named, said she had waited outside the consulate from 1 p.m. local time and called the police when he had not reappeared.

"We don't have any information about him, we are probing it", Saudi Ambassador Walid bin Abdulkarim al-Khuraiji said after the meeting.

"I don't know what's happening".

His fiancée said he did not come out and she has been unable to contact him since.

"It would be unfair and outrageous if he has been detained for his work as a journalist", The Post's global opinions editor, Eli Lopez, said in a statement.

The disappearance has stunned some of the Saudi government's stalwart defenders and highlighted the country's increasingly aggressive pursuit of its critics under the leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Mystery surrounded the whereabouts of a prominent Saudi critic on Thursday after Riyadh announced he had left their consulate in Istanbul - but Turkey and his fiancee said he had not been heard from since entering the building. Where is he? If he went home, no, I went to the house and didn't find him.

He is also known for his close association with the young Osama Bin Laden, with whom he travelled extensively in Afghanistan in the 1980s during the Soviet occupation - though he publicly rejected Bin Laden's later ideologies and had lost touch with him long before the 2001 attacks on the US.

Saudi Arabia has recently stepped up politically-motivated arrests, prosecution and conviction of peaceful dissident writers and human rights campaigners. Its billionaire backer was detained in the Ritz Carlton roundup overseen by Prince Mohammed in 2017.

In the absence of any reliable information about his disappearance, a notification on Khashoggi's website now declares: "Jamal has been arrested!"

"If, as it claims, Saudi Arabia truly wishes to transition to a more open society, it will have to accept the fundamental rights of freedom of expression and freedom of the press", wrote Ravi R. Prasad, the institute's head of advocacy.

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