The New Arab Logo

Breaking News
Eminent writer resigns from Saudi newspaper over 'hideous' Khashoggi affair Open in fullscreen

Florence Dixon

Eminent writer resigns from Saudi newspaper over 'hideous' Khashoggi affair

Raba'i al-Madhoun was shortlisted for the Arabic Booker Prize in 2010 [Facebook]

Date of publication: 23 October, 2018

Share this page:
  • 0

  • twitter
Raba'i al-Madhoun announced he had resigned from London-based Saudi paper Asharq Al-Awsat over the 'dreadful, frightening, agonising, distressing, painful, hideous and unprecedented' killing of fellow writer Jamal Khashoggi
A prominent Palestinian journalist and author has resigned from his post at Asharq Al-Awsat, a Saudi pan-Arab newspaper, over what he described as the "distressing, painful and hideous" killing of fellow journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul three weeks ago.

In a heartfelt Facebook post entitled "Khashoggi has led me to retirement", Raba'i al-Madhoun, who won the International Prize for Arabic Fiction in 2016, said:
"Today I handed in my resignation from my post at Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper in Lebanon, after 18 years."

"I was hoping to end my professional life with a celebration with colleagues, family and friends. I planned to do so after eight more months, when my contract was due to end," he added.

"But what happened on the afternoon of 2nd October put an end to all this," he said, referring to the day when regime critic Jamal Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate to collect a document for his forthcoming wedding, where he is presumed to have been killed by a team of Saudi agents.

"The killing of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was shocking. It was dreadful, frightening, agonising, distressing, painful, hideous and unprecedented," al-Madhoun continued.
All those who planned to kill Jamal or take part in his killing deserve punishment proportionate to the nature and magnitude of the crime
Murder in the Saudi consulate: Inside Jamal Khashoggi's killing
Read our special coverage: Murder in the
Saudi consulate: Inside Jamal Khashoggi's killing
"All those who planned to kill Jamal or take part in his killing deserve punishment proportionate to the nature and magnitude of the crime," he said, ending the post with, "Rest in peace, Jamal."

Al-Madhoun has been covering Palestinian affairs for the Saudi daily for nearly two decades. He is also a prominent novelist in the Arab world, nominated for the Arabic Booker Prize for his debut novel The Lady from Tel Aviv in 2010.

He said in the post he was considering writing another literary work, along with taking up reading in his retirement.

Asharq Al-Awsat, headquartered in London, was established in 1978 with the approval of the Saudi royal family. More or less a mouthpiece of the regime, the paper is known to censor any stories critical of the royal family or the regime in general.

In its coverage of the Khashoggi affair, the paper has sided with Riyadh, insisting that Khashoggi was killed by rogue agents despite overwhelming evidence that he was brutally tortured, murdered and his body dismembered by a specialist team with close ties to the de facto ruler Mohammed bin Salman.

The saga has provoked outrage across the globe, tarnishing the crown prince's hard-won image as a "reformer", and threatening to damage the kingdom's close ties with the US and Europe.

Several high-profile sponsors and speakers withdrew from a top economic summit in Riyadh this week, including the leaders of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, as well as JP Morgan, Uber and Ford.

Major Western media outlets including BloombergCNN, the Financial Times and The Economist also pulled out of covering the summit.

The New ArabComments

Most Popular

Most Popular

    Read More