Swiss-based journalists reacted to the killing of Washington Post columnist Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, in the first anniversary of his murder.
“It is worrying that the UN or any other entity did not proceed with the investigation, qualified last June as an “international crime” by Agnes Callamard — UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial killings — Catherine Fiankan-Bokonga, vice-president of the Swiss Press Club and the Association of Accredited Correspondents at UN, told Anadolu Agency.
“I think that the lack of reaction put the protection of free speech at risk,” she stressed.
The UN document had said that the Khashoggi murder is emblematic of a global pattern of targeted killing of, and threats against, journalists and media workers, which is regularly denounced, according to Fiankan-Bokonga.
“It is highly time that world leaders act to defend media freedom,” she stressed.
“Just because nothing has really happened in investigating the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi does not mean the course of justice should come to a halt,” Peter Kenny, the vice-president of Switzerland’s Foreign Press Association, said speaking in his personal capacity.
Over the past year nothing much has happened in bringing the “horrific” case to justice, he added.
He said Callamard has condemned Saudi Arabia for dodging justice.
“And Saudi Arabia’s ally the U.S. seems to have washed its hands of the case. That is bad for journalism and bad for human rights,” Kenny added.
Khashoggi, a U.S. resident and columnist for The Washington Post, was killed and dismembered on Oct. 2, 2018 after visiting the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, where he was making arrangements for his wedding.
The CIA assessed that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered Khashoggi’s murder.
Callamard has described his death as a “premeditated execution” and called for bin Salman and other high-ranking Saudis to be investigated.
Officials in Riyadh, who initially said Khashoggi had left the premises unharmed, said the journalist was killed in a rogue operation that did not involve bin Salman.
Activists have called for accountability in Khashoggi’s death.