Hatice Cengiz, the fiancée of Jamal Khashoggi, the journalist killed at a Saudi diplomatic mission in Turkey last year, has said she cannot believe that no one has yet faced serious consequences for the crime.
Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist who wrote critically about the Saudi crown prince, was killed inside the Saudi Consulate General in İstanbul on Oct. 2, 2018. His remains still have not been found.
“I cannot understand that the world still has not done anything about this,” she said in emotional testimony at a US Congress hearing on press freedom and the dangers of reporting on human rights. “I still cannot make human sense of it. I still cannot understand. I still feel that I’ll wake up.”
Cengiz was the last person to see Khashoggi alive before he went into the Saudi consulate in İstanbul to obtain papers for their upcoming marriage.
“We still don’t know why he was killed. We don’t know where his corpse is,” Cengiz said on Thursday. She called for sanctions to punish Saudi Arabia and for Washington to push for the freedom of political prisoners held in the kingdom.
After making numerous contradictory statements about Khashoggi’s fate, Riyadh said he had been killed and his body dismembered when negotiations to persuade him to return to Saudi Arabia failed.
Cengiz said she came to Washington hoping to help provoke a stronger reaction to her fiancé’s death. She said Donald Trump invited her to the White House months earlier but that she had not come then because she was not confident about his response.
“I think we choose between two things …” Cengiz told a House of Representatives subcommittee. “We can either go on as if nothing has happened … or we can act, we can leave aside all interests, international interests and politics, and focus on the values for a better life.”
Calling the United States “a fortress” protecting freedom of thought and human rights, Cengiz appealed for justice.
“I think it is a test for the United States, and I believe it is a test that it can and should pass,” she said.