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Lynching Journalists

Lynching Journalists

Washington Post Global Opinions correspondent, Jamal Khashoggi, who is Saudi, entered his country’s consulate in Istanbul Tuesday of last week and hasn’t been seen since. Worse, Turkish officials say that Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate, his body dismembered, and then sneaked out of the building—lynched, you might say, and then disappeared, instead of hanged from a tree. The journalist had written articles critical of his country’s young leader, Mohammad bin Salman, the 33-year-old crown prince, who considers himself something of a liberal or at least as a reformer. How ironic that this barbarian act happened in Turkey, where in recent years more journalists have disappeared than in any other country (245 as of earlier this year, though, far as we know, none have been murdered).

Almost simultaneously with the incident in Istanbul, a 30-year-old Bulgarian journalist, Viktoria Marinova, was brutally raped and killed in Ruse, in the northeast of the country, where she was employed as a TV commentator. She had been a political investigator. Nor was she the only European journalist murdered during the past year. Daphne Caruana Galizia, similarly reporting on political issues (corruption in the government), was killed in Malta by a car bomb. And Jan Kuciak, a Slovakian journalist also working on government corruption, was shot and killed along with his fiancée.

Killing journalists has become a growth industry. In April, Jason Rezaian (another Global Opinions writer for the Washington Post, who was held captive in Iran for 544 days) described the deaths of journalists in Nicaragua, India, Brazil and Mexico during the past year. He cites President Rodrigo Duterte, of the Philippines, as saying, “Just because you’re a journalist you are not exempted from assassination, if you’re a son-of-a-bitch.”

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