We have to wonder whether civilisation is moving forwards or backwards when in the 21st century a journalist can be tortured, killed and dismembered as a result of “an interrogation that went wrong”! Recent research and scientific studies reveal that torture is counterproductive. Friendlier and kinder methods produce far better results when interrogators seek the truth.  We’ll back polygraph technology every time! The murder of Saudi journalist, Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi, has sent shockwaves around the world.

Who was Jamal Khashoggi?

Jamal Khashoggi was a Saudi Arabian journalist with an impressive career.  Pre September 2017 he had worked as an editor for the Al Arab News Channel and for Al Watan a popular tabloid in Saudi Arabia.  He was progressive in his views and dreamed of freedom of expression in the Middle East.  The Washington Post has today published the last  opinion piece written by him entitled ‘What the Arab world needs most is free expression”.

In September 2017 he left Saudi Arabia stating that he had been banned from the social media platform, Twitter. Since then he wrote many articles criticising the Saudi regime.  In particular he was highly disparaging of Saudi’s crown prince Mohammad bin Salman. Khashoggi also disapproved of the country’s activities in Yemen.


Khashoggi vanished on 2 October 2018 following a visit to the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul. He was seen entering the building but never emerged from it. At first Saudi officials sought to claim that the journalist had left via a back door of the consulate. However, police in Turkey debunked this after studying CCTV recordings. None showed Khashoggi leaving.

13 days after his disappearance, an inspection of the building was conducted by officials from both Turkey and Saudi Arabia. According to the Turkish contingent there was evidence that suggested Khashoggi had been murdered in the Consulate.

The Daily Sabah, a popular Turkish tabloid, published a story about 15 Saudi Arabians who had flown to Istanbul in private jets. The article included their names and photos. It was intimated that these people had a mission to interrogate and assassinate Khashoggi. One was allegedly a forensic doctor who was in possession of a bone saw.

What really happened?

Nobody knows yet. Turkish authorities have allegedly found a recording of Khashoggi being tortured, stating it took 7 minutes for him to die. The Saudis have suggested that “rogue operators” were responsible, something President Trump reiterated after a conversation with the Saudi crown prince. No matter what the truth of the matter is, the world is waiting for answers  with Saudi Arabia in the spotlight.

Polygraph technology in the Middle East?

In the western world polygraph technology is the most common interrogation technique for ascertaining the truth.  Given this horrific incident and a recent video which has emerged on YouTube showing Egyptian lie detector test methods, we feel the Arab world could learn a lot from our techniques. The theory behind the test in Egypt is that the saliva dries up when a person lies. The reason the woman’s tongue didn’t burn was because she had saliva on it making steam, and therefore it left no burn mark on her tongue. In either case polygraph technology is superior to torture and conceivably would have saved Jamal Khashoggi’s life!