Publish dateThursday 3 October 2019 - 00:50
Story Code : 192498
Saudi Arabia’s murder of Jamal Khashoggi one year on
It has been a full year since Saudi Arabian government agents savagely murdered dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Despite the heinousness of the crime, details of which leaked in transcripts of audio recordings thanks to the Turkish government, the Riyadh regime continues to evade punishment.
Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018 to obtain papers to marry his fiancée but never exited the building. Audio tapes that the Turkish government later shared with the world verified that he had been killed and then dismembered by 15 Saudi hitmen.
The incident sparked an international outcry and eventually a United Nations investigation was launched, but the probe failed to progress in full as the Saudi regime failed to cooperate.
Riyadh attempted to parry international condemnation by accusing 11 operatives of the murder and handing five of them death sentences. But according to the UN panel, the suspects’ trial, which was not open to the public and trial observers, was a sham that fell short of international standards.
A year on, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — widely believed to have personally ordered the killing — has said he was not behind the murder.
Here is a look at global media reports about the murder of Khashoggi — who was himself a journalist — on his first death anniversary:
CNN: “Journalist Jamal Khashoggi should be hailed a hero for paying the ultimate price for his belief in free speech. Instead, his murder at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last year serves as a cautionary tale: no matter how brutal the crime, no matter how well-known the victim might be, no matter how incriminating the evidence, justice proves elusive for those who speak truth to power.”
Al Jazeera: “A year after the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, some in the US Congress are still deeply uneasy with President Donald Trump’s continuing defense of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s actions.”
The Guardian: “In a region largely inured to savagery, the murder of Jamal Khashoggi a year ago has left an extraordinary impact. Rarely in modern history has the death of one man been so consequential.”
“Also a group of 19 rights organizations have issued a joint statement as follow:
"We call on the international community, and in particular the UN, to:
1- Take action to ensure that a further impartial, prompt, thorough, independent and effective criminal investigation into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is opened;
2- Ensure that all perpetrators of the crime, including those at the head of the chain of command, are identified and prosecuted in a fair and transparent trial without recourse to the death penalty;
3- Establish an immediate moratorium on all arms sales and exports of surveillance technology to Saudi Arabia;
4- Co-sign the joint statement led by Australia on behalf of 23 UN Member States by 11 October;
5- Introduce and endorse a UN resolution establishing a monitoring mechanism over the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia;
We call on the authorities in Saudi Arabia to:
1- Return the remains of Khashoggi’s body to his family;
2- Invite independent international experts to oversee investigations into his murder; cooperate in good faith with all UN mechanisms; and ensure that those responsible for his death are brought to justice;
3- Immediately and unconditionally release all human rights defenders, writers, journalists and prisoners of conscience in Saudi Arabia whose detention is a result of their peaceful and legitimate work in the promotion and protection of fundamental human rights;
4- Establish a moratorium on the death penalty, including as punishment for crimes related to the exercise of the rights to freedom of opinion and expression, and peaceful assembly;
5- Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders and journalists in Saudi Arabia are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities and public reporting without fear of reprisals; and
6- Ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and bring all national laws limiting the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association into compliance with international human rights standards.”
The New York Times: (Opinion) “A year later, Jamal’s remains are yet to be found, but the Saudi message, spoken on behalf of autocrats across the region, has been heard clearly: If you do not say what we would have you say, your death will be brutal, your body will vanish and you will never even be buried. The murder of Jamal Khashoggi warned us all. Perhaps the greatest danger the Arab world faces today is that there will be no one left to shout, write or sing that the king is naked in a region plagued by too many kings.”
The Washington Post: “A year ago, Jamal Khashoggi — a Saudi commentator and dissident living in de facto exile — entered his nation’s consulate in Istanbul, never to return. The months since Khashoggi’s abduction and brutal killing by a Saudi hit squad have brought great uproar but insufficient justice. A handful of Saudi officials were indicted and punished by authorities in Riyadh for orchestrating a supposedly rogue operation. But U.S. intelligence officials believe Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had direct knowledge of the mission targeting Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor. The Saudi royal denies the allegation and, with the support of President Trump and his allies, has been mostly rehabilitated on the world stage.
Nor has it helped that Western governments, especially the Trump administration, have placed their strategic interests in allying with Saudi Arabia ahead of a principled moral stand about the kingdom’s behavior. Khashoggi’s memory, argue his friends and supporters, will be a perennial thorn in the side of regional realpolitik.”
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