It’s been a rough week for journalists, to say the least. The Turkish government alleges that Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul. In a separate incident, Viktoria Marinova was raped and killed in Bulgaria.
30-year-old Viktoria Marinova was found in a pedestrian alley in Ruse (northern Bulgaria), having apparently been killed via blows to the head and suffocation. It’s unclear if her death was related to her work. However, Marinova was a well-known investigative journalist in Bulgaria, raising suspicions. Apparently, she was investigating allegations of corruption involving EU funds for the broadcaster TVN.
Meanwhile, Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has not been seen since entering the Saudi consul in Istanbul last week. Khashoggi was highly critical of the Saudi Arabian government. He had visited the embassy to obtain the necessary paperwork to marry his fiancée. His fiancée reports that he never left the embassy. Apparently, she was waiting outside for him.
High-ranking Turkish officials now believe that Khashoggi was killed inside the embassy. Reports are circulating that 15 Saudis visited the embassy on the same day as Khashoggi. Some speculate that they were part of a hit squad. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says that he is “personally” chasing the investigation.
Journalism is a dangerous profession. In total, 66 journalists were killed in 2017. 2018 is shaping up to be a similarly bloody year with at least 59 journalists having been killed in 2018, although the motives for each death have not been confirmed to be linked to their work. Many of those killed were on dangerous assignments. Three journalists have been killed in the European Union this year.
Four journalists were killed in the United States during the Capital Gazette mass shooting. Jarrod Ramos has been charged for the shooting. Ramos previously had a dispute with the newspaper. Another journalist, Zachary “ZackTV” Stoner, was killed in Chicago when unknown assailants opened fire on his car in the early morning hours on May 30th.