Officials in Saudi Arabia summoned Salah Khashoggi, the eldest son of the late journalist Jamal Khashoggi, to a palace in Riyadh on Tuesday, where he posed for photos with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
While the Saudis claim that the son “expressed ... great thanks to the Saudi King and Crown Prince for their condolences,” the pictures suggest otherwise, and with good reason.
Mohammed bin Salman reportedly ordered the operation that resulted in the death, allegedly by torture, of Jamal Khashoggi earlier this month. His body was allegedly then dismembered. Under international pressure, the Saudis admitted last week that Khashoggi died in an altercation in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2
Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist, was living in the U.S.
Salah Khashoggi himself has been barred from leaving Saudi Arabia since last year because of his father’s criticism of the Saudi regime, a friend of the Khashoggi family told the Associated Press.
Regardless of the intent behind the staged photos, the event didn’t sit well with observers on Twitter, many of whom noted its similarity to other forced photo ops with murderous tyrants:
MBS meeting with Khasshogi’s son in Saudi Arabia (left) reminded me of Saddam Hussein meeting with foreign “guests” (unable to leave) in Iraq before Desert Storm. pic.twitter.com/dXOAKPRySU
— Jorge Guajardo (@jorge_guajardo) October 23, 2018
The photo shoot of Khashoggi's son with MbS, the man who probably ordered the murder of his father, reminds me of the time @WJoumblatt had to go meet Hafez al-Assad, shortly after apparently Hafez ordered the murder of Walid's father, Kamal. Video: https://t.co/GdHCs8ShNdpic.twitter.com/dv3WWrbq4C
— Elizabeth Tsurkov (@Elizrael) October 23, 2018
Saudi tyrant 'MBS' - aka Mohammed Bone Saw - forces Jamal Khashoggi's son to do a PR photo-op handshake, days after ordering his father's torture, dismemberment & murder.
A new low, even by the medieval standards of this barbaric crown prince. pic.twitter.com/mduNqfcSxe
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) October 23, 2018
This is sickening! I’m outraged
The Saudi Regime is forcing Salah Jamal Khashoggi, Jamal Khashoggi’s own son, to shake the hand of the mastermind behind his father’s murderer.
The international community must pressure King Salman to lift the travel ban on Salah Jamal Khashoggi. https://t.co/CJEJ0FegB8
— Rula Jebreal (@rulajebreal) October 23, 2018
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.