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 Arabia could return to extreme precautionary restrictions, minister warns

Penalties will be doubled upon repetition of the violation. (SPA)
Updated 31 May 2020

Saudi Arabia could return to extreme precautionary restrictions, minister warns

  • People not wearing masks will be fined

JEDDAH: The Kingdom could return to extreme precautionary restrictions if the number of COVID-19 patients exceeds the medical sector’s capacity, Saudi Arabia’s Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah warned on Saturday.

“Public awareness and adherence to precautionary measures is essential to continue the ease of restrictions,” Al-Rabiah told Al-Arabiya on Saturday. “We continue monitoring the situation based on the number of critical cases in hospitals and their capacity to receive them. We want to be able to receive all cases that reach out to us and provide them with the care that they need. We are all in one boat in this situation, we are one team, and we must work together cautiously. Lack of commitment will definitely take us back to where we were.”

The minister expressed his concern about overcrowding in some public places during the Eid holidays, adding that while crowds were likely at the initial phase of the ‘unlock’ he remained optimistic about the public’s awareness level.

The minister said that although children were the least likely to be infected they could carry the virus without symptoms. He advised families to keep children away from elderly members of their families such as grandparents.

There were 1,618 new cases reported in Saudi Arabia, meaning that 83,384 people have now contracted the disease. There are currently 24,501 active cases.

The Health Ministry announced that 1,870 more patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries to 58,883. More than 70 percent of coronavirus patients in the Kingdom have recovered from the disease.

There were 22 new COVID-19-related deaths reported on Saturday, raising the total number of fatalities to 480.

The ministry has assigned 30 health practitioners to carry out the third stage of an expanded examination plan to assess the prevalence of COVID-19 in the city of Makkah.

FASTFACTS

• 58,883 recoveries

• 24,501 active cases

The examination will take place at a center in the Al-Zaidi district, where citizens and expats will be tested inside their cars through 12 tracks without the need to leave their vehicles. The center has the capacity for over 1,000 tests daily and these will be carried out through appointments made on the ministry’s Sehaty app.

Adjustments to previously announced social-distancing measures and regulations were announced by the Saudi Interior Ministry on Saturday. These include new violation penalties, as the second stage of restriction-easing starts on May 31.

Individuals who intentionally violate regulations will pay SR1,000 ($266). Breaches include not wearing a mask, not committing to social distancing marks and areas, refusing to undergo temperature checks at entrances, or not adhering to preventive protocols if their temperature is higher than 38 degrees Celsius.

The ministry amended the maximum number of people allowed for social gatherings inside homes, rest houses, farms, or in social events such as funerals and parties to 50 people.

Private sector establishments that are found to be non-compliant with new preventive measures and protocols will pay a penalty of SR10,000.

This penalty covers violations such as admitting entry to individuals not wearing medical or cloth masks, lack of disinfectants and sterilizers, not checking employee and customer temperatures at entrances, lack of sterilization on shopping facilities, cart surfaces and shopping baskets after each use, as well as opening fitting rooms and children’s play areas.
Penalties will be doubled upon repetition of the violation.