STATEMENT: Saudi Arabia Must Be Held Accountable for the Alleged Murder of Jamal Khashoggi, CAP’s Kelly Magsamen Says

Washington, D.C. — Following reports of the alleged murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Turkey, Kelly Magsamen, vice president for National Security and International Policy at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:

The alleged detention, torture, and murder of U.S. resident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a heinous and reprehensible act that deserves global condemnation. The Trump administration should hold the Saudi government accountable.

In a welcome response, members of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee have moved to hold Saudi Arabia accountable under the Global Magnitsky Act. The administration and Congress should take additional steps to reassess the U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia to determine whether it continues to reflect our long-term interests.

Under the direction of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia has been pursuing an increasingly reckless course, including the detention of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, the imprisonment of female activists and political rivals, and the war in Yemen that has cost the lives of thousands of civilians. It is significant that many leaders of major U.S. corporations have canceled their participation in an upcoming investment conference in Riyadh. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin should also cancel his involvement in the conference to send the message that the United States demands answers from Saudi Arabia.

U.S. foreign policy should always be grounded in our interests, but it also must be grounded in our values. President Donald Trump has abandoned those values and paved the way for further heinous acts with his constant attacks on the press and his bizarre preference for dictators over democratic allies. It is time for America to stand up for what is right and meet these actions with a firm response.

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For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at shananel@americanprogress.org or 202-478-6327.