The world woke up few weeks ago, to the shocking news of the dastardly murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi Arabian journalist based in the United States of America.

Mr Khashoggi, a prominent critic of the leadership of Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed Bin Salman, was last seen on October 2, when he entered the Saudi Consulate in Turkey, for divorce documents. He has not been seen since.

Confirmation of his death came seventeen days after his disappearance and subsequent denial by Saudi authorities that the Washington Post contributor, left the Consulate.

Various narrations of his death were given by Saudi authorities which turned out not to be true while their Turkish counterparts provided leaks and information to buttress their claim that Khasoggi was murdered in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

Earlier accounts had it that the late Khashoggi died when an argument ensued between him and his alleged killers.

But it is now confirmed that his death was a pre-meditated act that was planned and executed under instruction from high up the Saudi leadership.

It is now public knowledge that, Mr Khashoggi, 60, was murdered by an alleged hit squad purposely shipped in to Turkey, to undertake the operation.

The action of the Saudi assassins is horrendous, despicable and condemnable.

Indeed, it is an attempt to stifle press freedom and gag persons who express dissent, into submission.

It is incredibly embarrassing that the perpetrators of this crime come from a country that is revered for its religious piety.

This is not the first time we have heard about this shameful act of cowardice, as there have been similar reports of bloody crackdown on freedom of speech in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

But for the fact that the late Khashoggi is a journalist and that rich countries including the United States, United Kingdom and Germany, have added their voices to calls for investigations and prosecution of persons found culpable in his death, who would have heard about it?

Who would have imagined that a country could go into another country and kill its citizen? It is unimaginable.

Journalism is not a crime and it is time the world came to that reality and accorded journalists some modicum of respect for their role in helping build free democratic societies.

It is trite knowledge that religion, politics, economic and social factors accounted for some of these atrocities meted out to journalists across the globe.

The diplomatic row between the maghrebian and Arab world, particularly the rift between Saudi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait and Egypt on one hand and Qatar, Turkey, Iran and Iraq on the other hand, on issues such as secularism and terrorism would continue to promote the culture of impunity and oppressiveness.

Not even the so called liberal countries and their laws could provide sanctuary from fugitives running from oppressive regimes.

The Ghanaian Times is astonished that apart from the rich western countries, all other countries have remained silent on this heinous crime committed against not only Saudi citizen but citizens of other countries.

We are on the side of the progressive world that is calling for a thorough investigation into one of the world’s heinous crimes committed by a nation against its own citizen.

We would like to see the perpetrators brought to book to also pay the highest prize for the crime they have committed.

To Khashoggi and family we offer our condolences!

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