In an interview published on Sunday in the Arab newspaper, Asharq al-Awsat, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, warned against “exploiting” the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi for political gains. Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Turkey last October and since then, Turkey has pressed the kingdom as to the whereabouts of his body.
“The death of Jamal Khashoggi is a very painful crime,” MBS told the paper, “those accused of carrying out the crime are government officials” and the kingdom is seeking to “achieve full justice and accountability, without getting distracted by positions taken by some for their own domestic considerations that are known to everyone.”
Khashoggi’s murder brought a lot of attention to the relationship between the US and the kingdom. Although there is no definitive proof that MBS ordered the murder, the CIA has concluded that he most likely had.
But since the murder, there has been more brutal executions of dissenters within the kingdom, most notably when 37 people, mostly of the Shia minority, were beheaded in a mass execution back in April. One of those put to death was executed for a “crime” he committed when he was under 18, he was accused of participating in anti-government protests, and tortured into signing a confession.
18-year-old Shia, Murtaja Qureiris, who was arrested when he was 13 years-old for participating in anti-government protests when he was 10, is currently in danger of being put to death. Although an anonymous Saudi Official told Reuters on Saturday that Qureiris would not be executed, it has been reported the prosecutor is seeking the death penalty.
The Crown Prince’s warning to his political foes, not to exploit the murder of Khashoggi, could be a good piece of advice, considering there is much more brutality within the kingdom that goes on with his full blessing.