07/10/2019, 09.38
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Khashoggi murder: UN special rapporteur attacks US "silence"

For Agnes Callamard "silence is not an option. Speaking up is required but not enough. We have to act" to punish those responsible.  Crown prince bin Salman believed to be behind the murder.  Washington does not cooperate and the West, including Europe, is showing a serious "democratic deficit".



London (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The UN special rapporteur who has been investigating the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed on 2 October in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, has harsh words for  the United States.  Speaking at a press conference organized in London, flanked by the activist's and the dissident's girlfriend, Agnes Callamard stressed that "Silence is not an option. Speaking up is required but not enough. We have to act" to shed light on the matter.

Last June, the United Nations expert published a report that explicitly accuses the number two of the Saudi kingdom, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (Mbs), with the death of the journalist.  According to the report's findings, it was an "extrajudicial execution", with "credible evidence" linking MBS and senior Saudi officials to Khashoggi's death.

Hence the request for an FBI investigation and the opening of a civil proceeding.  In addition, Callamard appeals to the US government to remove the state secret on intelligence reports related to the murder, adding that Washington "is not" among those actively collaborating to bring those responsible to justice.

Following the findings of the investigation, the special speaker called on the UN general secretary Antonio Guterres, to create an international team called to prosecute those responsible for the murder.  According to the woman, the West is revealing a serious "democratic deficit" by not responding to the general demand for justice launched by world public opinion.

Next to her was Khashoggi's Turkish girlfriend, Hatice Cengiz, who explicitly turned to European nations to "take this report more seriously".  "It is very dangerous - she added - to behave as if nothing had happened".

For Callamard, an expert on extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary executions, the journalist and dissident was "brutally killed" inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.  Five people have confessed to the murder and are currently on trial in Saudi Arabia;  the prosecutor is convinced of their guilt, while he excuses bin Salman "who had no knowledge" of what happened.

Riyadh has opened a process that involves a total of 11 people who, according to the UN expert, should be "suspended".  This, she concludes, is an international crime that requires universal jurisdiction, not just national.  This would allow other nations like Turkey or the United States to prosecute those responsible.

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