International scrutiny needed on Khashoggi: UN official


A UN rapporteur said on Sunday she was “disappointed” that the UN secretary-general did not demand a criminal investigation into the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“I am disappointed that he [Antonio Guterres] has not taken the opportunity that I provided him with to move us a little bit further in the road towards accountability,” Agnes Callamard, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, told Anadolu Agency at the UN headquarters in New York on Sunday.

“The Secretary General has not been very courageous, but […] the rest of the international community has not been particularly courageous either on that particular issue,” Callamard said.

“There has been a kind of coalition of the willing not to do anything,” she added.

While noting that Turkey could have made a formal request to the secretary general, Callamard said: “It’s an international issue not just a Turkey issue.”

She stressed that a single country should not have to “stand up” to Saudi Arabia, saying other countries could have aligned themselves with Turkey and made a demand to the secretary general, but that none did.

“Everyone seems to be hiding behind each other,” she added.

Khashoggi killing not domestic matter of crime

Callamard highlighted that Saudi Arabia had declared very early that this was a “domestic matter” and that they would resist and refuse any kind of international scrutiny.

“The killing of Khashoggi was the least domestic killing that I can think of,” said Callamard.

She underlined that the assassination took place outside Saudi Arabia and involved at least five or six violations of international law.

Stressing that there’s nothing domestic about the killing, Callamard said international scrutiny was “absolutely required”.

A Saudi hit squad killed and dismembered Khashoggi in the Saudi Arabia’s Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on Oct. 2, 2018. His body was never recovered.

In a report in May, Callamard had concluded it was a “deliberate, premeditated execution,” and called for Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman to be investigated. Saudi officials describe the incident as a rogue operation that did not involve the prince.

*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz
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