Khashoggi family forgives those who killed their father

Jamal Khashoggi's family at his funeral. (File/AFP)
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Updated 23 May 2020

Khashoggi family forgives those who killed their father

  • Journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in 2018
  • Forgiveness does not mean the killers go unpunished but they will be spared the death penalty

JEDDAH & MAKKAH: The family of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi have forgiven their father’s killers, his son Salah wrote in a message posted on Twitter on Friday.

“On this virtuous night of this holy month, we recall what God Almighty said in his holy book: ‘The repayment of bad actions, is one equivalent to it, but whoever pardons and makes reconciliation, his reward lies with God. He does not love the unjust.’

“Thus, we, sons of the martyr Jamal Khashoggi, announce that we forgive those who killed our father — may he rest in peace — for the sake of God Almighty, hopefully seeking reward with the Almighty.”

Khashoggi was killed in Oct. 2018 while he visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. In Dec. 2019, five people were convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Three others were given prison terms totaling 24 years “for their role in covering up this crime and violating the law.”

In accordance with Saudi law, the forgiveness offered by the Khashoggi family does not erase the convictions of those found guilty, but it means those sentenced to death will now be spared.

Legal adviser Dr. Mohammed Mahmoud said a royal decree states that the punishment for convicted killers forgiven by their victim’s family shall be five years in jail if the killing was intentional, and half that term if it was not.

“Accordingly, the perpetrators who were found to be involved in the premeditated murder of (Khashoggi) will face a five-year prison sentence….as a result of committing this crime,” he added.

Hamdan Al-Shehri, a political analyst and international relations scholar, said: “It is their (Khashoggi’s children) right to forgive their father’s killer."

He added that the political dimensions of the Khashoggi case continue to have ramifications far beyond the borders of the Kingdom.

“The issue is that there are still voices screaming about the case when the matter doesn’t even remotely concern them, as if their love for Jamal Khashoggi is greater than that of his family and children,” he said. “They are trying to attack Saudi Arabia using the blood of the deceased.”

He added that he and the Saudi people trust the Kingdom’s justice system to be fair, and that it will not tolerate the murder of Khashoggi.

Al-Shehri described the actions of Khashoggi’s family as “patriotic” and added: “What the children of Khashoggi did is not only a great human and religious gesture, but they knew that there were people who used Khashoggi’s case to further their own agendas from outside the Kingdom, so they blocked their way.

“Of course, neither we (the people) nor the government are in agreement with what happened to Jamal, but can you imagine that there are people who deny Jamal’s family their right to forgive his killers? Who are (they) to decide what his family should do?”


Saudi G20: Youth group discusses empowerment

Updated 32 min 47 sec ago

Saudi G20: Youth group discusses empowerment

  • Young leaders emphasize importance of using new technologies to amplify youth voices,

RIYADH: Young people from around the world took part in a virtual meeting as part of Saudi Arabia’s G20 Presidency to discuss international issues related to youth. 

Organized by the Misk Foundation in partnership with the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture, attendees discussed challenges to youth leadership, particularly lack of opportunity, and the importance of youth leadership, highlighting the different perspectives young people offer, and their adaptability to a rapidly changing world. 

Othman Al-Moamar, Y20 chair and research manager at Misk, said that sharing the platform with youth delegates was a great responsibility.

“Youth’s challenges today are further exacerbated by COVID-19 (the coronavirus disease pandemic) and it’s up to us to make sure we fulfill the promise of this platform by amplifying youth voices and ideas to ultimately see our leaders implement youth-led solutions.”

Other issues discussed in the meeting included the importance of access to education – particularly at the secondary level – to ensure young people have the skills they need, the removal of the stigma surrounding youth leadership, ideas, and participation, and the need to focus on initiatives, policies, and ideas that were realistic and could achieve real-world impact – particularly with the challenges posed by COVID-19.

A number of common themes emerged, such as using technology to develop a global, online platform for young voices as well as the importance of ensuring diversity and ending discrimination.

Saudi Arabia’s Y20 team have chosen to focus their activities around three key themes that complement the broader G20 goals: Future fit – preparing for the future of work and entrepreneurship; empowerment – developing agile and dynamic future leaders; and global citizens – promoting proactive, culturally sensitive problem solvers.