Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian 'shocked' over Khashoggi disappearance

On Oct. 2, Jamal Khashoggi entered Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. He has not been seen or heard from since.

“I don’t think he expected to be disappeared,” his colleague and friend Jason Rezaian told CTV News. “Two weeks on, I’m shocked that we don’t have more answers and accountability for what might have transpired there that day.”

Khashoggi, a Saudi writer who frequently contributed to The Washington Post, is a U.S. resident and a vocal critic of his country’s government. Rezaian, an Iranian-American journalist who serves as the newspaper’s global opinions writer, previously spent a staggering 544 days in Iranian captivity before being released in January 2016.

Although Turkish officials have claimed that Khashoggi was murdered, no official explanation has been offered about his whereabouts.

“I hope that we know the truth but I’m very horrified at the prospects of what those truths are,” Rezaian said from The Washington Post newsroom. “I think that whatever the outcome is… it will be shocking and no one should have to suffer that fate.”

Speaking to CTV News, Rezaian accused Saudi Arabia of “lying” about the case while also offering pointed criticism of the U.S. government’s mild response to Khashoggi’s disappearance.

“It sends a terrible message to journalists working in the Middle East, but all over the world, that again the United States is not so concerned about press freedoms, even though that’s one of the pillars of our society,” he said. “And I also think it sends… a terrible message to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia that you can get away with this sort of thing.”

If U.S. President Donald Trump fails to punish Saudi Arabia for Khashoggi’s disappearance, he hopes that others in government will.

“I would love to see the Congress act,” Rezaian said. “It’s the sort of thing that can’t just be swept under the rug.”

With a report from CTV News Washington Bureau Chief Joy Malbon

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