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The Khashoggi investigation must be free from Trump and Erdoğan
November 9, 2018 - Written by editor marsan

Turkey and the US have no leg to stand on when it comes to condemning violence against journalists – and Jamal Khashoggi’s brutal murder was a sign the rules have changed

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan addresses media in October.

A single death is a tragedy, a million a statistic — so goes Stalin’s brutally cynical comment. Only, today, it seems even a single death is a statistic, especially if it’s a journalist’s.

It’s that worry that motivated a group of us to start an open letter under the joint umbrella of PEN America and the Author’s Guild, urging the United Nations to launch an independent investigation of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. I’d never written such a letter before, and only rarely signed one –but you don’t have to be a weatherman, as they say.

We live in an age where journalists are murdered all the time. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, the invaluable organisation that tracks these outrages, 849 journalists have been assassinated since 1992 – and 28 so far in 2018 alone. Who were they? Wendi Winters, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara and Gerald Fischman, all from the Capital Gazette on 28 June. Musa Abdul Kareem from Fasanea (31 July). Mario Leonel Gómez Sánchez from el Heraldo de Chiapas (21 September). No, you probably don’t remember all their names. You may never have heard them.

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