Washington: More than 20 top US Senators have asked President Donald Trump to order an investigation into Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s whereabouts and impose sanctions against anyone found responsible for his mysterious disappearance. In a letter to Trump, the 22 lawmakers triggered the 2016 Global Magnitsky Act, which gives the President 120 days to decide whether to impose sanctions on any foreign person he determines sponsored or was involved in the disappearance of 59-year-old Khashoggi, an outspoken critic of Saudi government and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Khashoggi, a US resident, vanished on October 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Turkish authorities suspect he was abducted and murdered by the Saudis. But Riyadh insists that the journalist had left the building and that murder claims are “baseless”.
Trump on Wednesday said he had taken up the case of the journalist and demanded all answers into his disappearance of from the Saudi authorities. In the letter to Trump, the Senators said the disappearance of the Washington Post columnist suggested he could be a victim of a gross violation of international human rights. The violations includes “torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, prolonged detention without trial, abduction”. Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed concern about the fate of Khashoggi.