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Saudi Arabia ‘long arm’ hovers over dissidents after silencing Khashoggi

Riyadh, Monday

The murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has sent a chill through exiled dissidents, with many revealing discreet government attempts to lure them to their embassies as an apparent “trap” to return them to the kingdom.

Khashogg, a critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, in what sources close to the government have said was likely an authorised rendition that went wrong.

Saudi exiles in three different countries have recounted what appeared to be official attempts to bait them into the kingdom’s diplomatic missions, exposing them to potentially the same fate as Khashoggi.

Omar Abdulaziz, a 27-year-old Saudi activist exiled in Canada, said he was approached earlier this year by Saudi officials who urged him to visit their embassy with them to collect a new passport.

He refused to go, fearing a trap, and two of his brothers were arrested, he said, thus validating his suspicions.

The Washington Post said it received hours-long tapes from Abdulaziz of his conversations with those officials, which he secretly recorded. — AFP

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