The sons of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Monday requested Saudi Arabia to return their father’s body, CNN reported.
Salah and Abdullah Khashoggi said they hoped their father had a “peaceful death”. The two said they need to bury their father’s body to gain closure. “All what we want right now is to bury him in Al-Baqi [cemetery] in Medina [Saudi Arabia] with the rest of his family,” Salah Khashoggi said. “I talked about that with the Saudi authorities and I just hope that it happens soon.”
This was the family’s first interview since the journalist was killed in Istanbul last month. Khashoggi, a vocal critic of the Saudi regime, was living in self-imposed exile in the United States since 2017. He was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. Saudi Arabia initially claimed to have no information about his disappearance but later admitted that agents working without Riyadh’s knowledge had killed him.
The request of Jamal Khashoggi’s sons follows a claim by an advisor to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that the journalist’s body had been dissolved.
Salah and Abdullah Khashoggi said they endured weeks of anguish and uncertainty after their father was reported missing. They described their father as “courageous, generous and very brave”. “I really hope that whatever happened was not painful for him, or it was quick,” Abdullah Khashoggi added.
The journalist’s sons refuted claims that their father was a dissident. “He believed in the monarchy, that it is the thing that is keeping the country together,” said Salah Khashoggi. “And he believed in the transformation that it is going through.”