Agnes Callamard, the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions on Wednesday presented her report on the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The killing of Khashoggi by a team of Saudi operatives inside the consulate on October 2 provoked outrage and marred the image of MBS. Khashoggi’s body has never been found.
The 59-year-old Saudi insider-turned-critic was strangled and his body cut into pieces by a team of 15 Saudis sent to Istanbul for the killing, according to Turkish officials.
In her 100-page report presented to the UN Human rights Council in the swiss city of Geneva, stated that Khashoggi’s killing at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October last year constituted a premeditated extrajudicial killing for which Saudi Arabia’s leadership was responsible.
The report also concluded that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also known as MBS, should be investigated regarding the incident.
Callamard says in her report that Saudi Arabia violated the Vienna Convention on consular relations, the UN charter on the prohibition of the use of force in times of peace as well as the principle of the right to life.
The targeted killings of journalists, dissenters and human rights defenders, more generally, are on the increase, warned Callamard in her recent remarks, adding that the most worrying pattern is the impunity that surrounds those actions.
Riyadh first maintained Khashoggi left the consulate shortly after entering, but as Turkish authorities continued to leak evidence of high-level involvement, the country eventually admitted its agents carried out the killing with a series of contradictory explanations.
Saudi Arabia now says Khashoggi was killed in their consulate after a fight broke out with the people he met there, a claim that was debunked by Callamard’s report, in which the Saudi agents were cited discussing the journalist’s murder and dismemberment before he arrived at the consulate.
Eighteen Saudi nationals were arrested over the issue, but the international community is sceptical about their trial going on in Riyadh.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May said on Wednesday she wants to see accountability for the killing.
“We do want to see accountability for this horrific murder… We expect Saudi Arabia to take the action necessary to ensure such violations of international and national laws can’t happen again,” May said in parliament.
“We’re obviously closely following the continuing investigation,” she added. “We expect it to proceed in line with internationally recognised legal standards.”
Saudi Arabia carries UN Human Rights Council membership and its representatives may be in the room while Callamard presents her findings.
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