The International Press Institute (IPI), a global network of editors, media executives and journalists for press freedom, today urged the international community to demand that Saudi Arabia ensure justice for Jamal Khashoggi following a report released today by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
Agnes Callamard, the U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial killing, released a report Wednesday determining that there was credible evidence of high-level Saudi officials’, including Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, individual liability in Khashoggi’s murder.
Khashoggi, a columnist for the Washington Post, was killed on October 2, 2018 after entering the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul. The report states that he arrived at the consulate by appointment in order to obtain papers needed to marry his fiancée. He was then confronted by Saudi officials, murdered – possibly by being injected with a sedative and suffocated with a plastic bag – and dismembered.
Callamard’s report uses recordings obtained from inside the consulate to piece together Khashoggi’s final moments, concluding the death of the journalist to be “an international crime”.
“Mr. Khashoggi’s execution is emblematic of a global pattern of targeted killing of, and threats against, journalists and media workers that is regularly denounced by states, UN agencies, special procedures, and by numerous international and national human rights organisations,” Callamard wrote in the report.
Key takeaways from the report include:
● The report concluded that Mr. Khashoggi was the victim of “a deliberate, premeditated execution, an extrajudicial killing for which the state of Saudi Arabia is responsible under international human rights law”.
● Although 11 suspects in the murder have been put on trial in Saudi Arabia, the report states that current investigations led by Saudi Arabi and Turkey failed to meet international standards.
● There is credible evidence of liability of high-level Saudi officials and the crown prince in the killing.
“The findings of this report provide further evidence that the Saudi government is responsible for the gruesome murder of Jamal Khashoggi and that state authorities have failed in their obligation to investigate this crime”, IPI Executive Director Barbara Trionfi said. “We cannot allow business as usual to return with respect to Saudi Arabia. It is now the job of the international community, especially Saudi Arabia’s traditional allies, to push for consequences and ensure that those who ordered Khashoggi’s murder do not escape justice.”