The National Newspaper Association on Thursday joined a wide alliance of journalism groups calling for the Saudi government to investigate the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post, vanished last week after he visited the Saudi embassy in Istanbul to obtain documents for his upcoming wedding. The Saudi government says he slipped out a back door but security cameras reportedly do not show him leaving. U.S. intelligence officials say they have intercepted signals suggesting that he was the target of an assassin gang. Khashoggi was openly critical of the Saudi ruler.
“Journalists must be safe to do their work,” said NNA President Andrew Johnson, publisher of the Dodge County (WI) Pionier. “We do not know what befell this writer, but we do know that civilized governments do not silence criticism with violence. In our troubled world, our reporters, photographers, and writers put themselves in harm’s way every day to make sure we are informed. We need to have their backs.”