Missing writer Jamal Khashoggi ‘is not here’ Saudi envoy in Istanbul says

Consul General of Saudi Arabia Mohammad Al-Otaibi gives a tour of Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul. (Reuters)
Updated 06 October 2018

Missing writer Jamal Khashoggi ‘is not here’ Saudi envoy in Istanbul says

  • Consul-general Mohammad Al-Otaibi gives journalists a tour of six-storey building
  • Saudi Arabia says Khashoggi left the consulate on Tuesday after completing his paperwork

ISTANBUL: Saudi Arabia's consul in Istanbul opened up his mission on Saturday in an effort to show that Jamal Khashoggi, who vanished four days ago, was not on the premises and said that talk of his kidnapping was baseless.
Reuters journalists toured the six-storey consulate in northern Istanbul which Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist residing in the US, entered on Tuesday to get documents for his forthcoming marriage. His fiancee, who had waited outside, said he never came out.
Saudi Arabia said he left the consulate on Tuesday after completing his paperwork.
"I would like to confirm that...Jamal is not at the consulate nor in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the consulate and the embassy are working to search for him," consul-general Mohammad Al-Otaibi said in an interview at the consulate.
"We are worried about this case."
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told Bloomberg that Saudi authorities would allow Turkey to search the consulate, but Turkish officials have not yet entered the premises.
Al-Otaibi said there were no legal charges against Khashoggi at the consulate, and he gave a tour of the building to Reuters to demonstrate that the missing journalist was not on the premises.
Opening cupboards, filing cabinets and wooden panels covering air conditioning units, Al-Otaibi walked through the six floors of the building including a basement prayer room, offices, visa counters, kitchens and toilets as well as storage and security rooms.
He said the consulate was equipped with cameras but they did not record footage, so no images could be retrieved of Khashoggi entering or leaving the consulate, which is ringed by police barriers and has high security fences topped with barbed wire.
The building has two entrances at the front and back, and Al-Otaibi said Khashoggi could have left from either side.
"If those who say he was kidnapped are focusing on his being in the mission, these are just rumours that have no proof," he said. "And we unfortunately regret some of the statements that have been made by Turkish officials who insist that (Khashoggi is) in the consulate ... without it being built on facts."
The spokesman for Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's AK Party vowed that authorities would uncover the whereabouts of Khashoggi and the details of his disappearance, saying the case was highly sensitive for Turkey.
Al-Otaibi said authorities in the two countries were in contact. "Let us leave some time and a chance for both sides to see results".
The idea that Khashoggi may have been abducted at the consulate was "disgusting", he said. "The idea of kidnapping a Saudi citizen by a diplomatic mission is something that should not be put forward in the media."


Saudi Arabia’s public spaces dotted with pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Photo/Shutterstock
Updated 19 October 2020

Saudi Arabia’s public spaces dotted with pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

  • According to the Saudi Ministry of Health, 55 percent of cases are detected at a late stage

JEDDAH: Splashes of pink are appearing in Saudi Arabia’s public spaces to raise awareness about the importance of breast cancer screening.
A number of campaigns are underway this month to support this outreach — in malls, on the street and on billboards.
Pamphlets are being handed out, videos and interactive pictures are on display, there are fundraising activities such as hiking and biking, and medical students have been talking to shoppers and passers-by as part of efforts to increase people’s knowledge.
In Jeddah there was a Tai Chi class on the city’s waterfront, headed by Amatallah Bahaziq, that was attended by female members of Bliss Runners and Bolts. Another event was a bike ride organized by Jeddah Cyclists that included men and women.
A number of major cities across the Kingdom have also seen pop-up campaigns, with specialists ready to answer questions and play a proactive role in spreading proper knowledge and information about the disease, its detection and the chances of survival when detected early.

HIGHLIGHT

According to the Saudi Ministry of Health, 55 percent of cases are detected at a late stage. This late stage detection is mostly because some women believe that a lack of symptoms means an absence of the disease.

The Zahra Breast Cancer Association is one of Saudi Arabia’s leading organizations dedicated to raising awareness about the disease. It has been supporting cancer patients and survivors and normalizing conversations about breast cancer among the community, with a renewed emphasis during October which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
“Given the circumstances (due to the pandemic) we focused our efforts to raise awareness to the importance of early detection virtually,” a representative from the association told Arab News. “With billboards and visuals spread across Saudi cities, we’re still following through with our campaign promise to raise awareness each year and send the message across: Early detection will save your life.”
According to the Saudi Ministry of Health, 55 percent of cases are detected at a late stage. This late stage detection is mostly because some women believe that a lack of symptoms means an absence of the disease.