A year without Khashoggi: why it was not possible to punish those who ordered the murder of a Saudi journalist

Saudi Crown Prince personally approved Khashoggi murder says US report – BBC News

A year without Khashoggi: why it was not possible to punish those who ordered the murder of a Saudi journalist

A year without Khashoggi: why it was not possible to punish those who ordered the murder of a Saudi journalist

Prominent Saudi dissident, Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was assassinated at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul exactly one year ago.

Exactly one year ago, the whole world was shocked by the brutal murder of the famous Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The details of the crime were shocking: it turned out that the hired killers, acting on the instructions of the Saudi authorities, lured the journalist into the building of the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, and after the murder they dismembered the body, which was never found.

Khashoggi criticized Riyadh for human rights violations, persecution of critics of the regime and aggressive regional policies, including Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the civil war in neighboring Yemen.

According to the CIA, the murder was ordered by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. After that, American congressmen publicly condemned the actions of the Saudi Arabian authorities and tried to stop the supply of American weapons to the kingdom..

President Donald Trump has gone against his fellow party members in order to sell Saudi Arabia a $ 8.1 billion shipment of weapons and prevent the ruin of good relations with the kingdom, which Trump sees as a stronghold of the United States in the Middle East against Iranian influence. The head of the White House said that Washington cannot afford to abandon the sale of weapons to its ally in the region.

Khatije Cengiz, Khashoggi’s former fiancée, believes many countries, including the United States, have failed to bring the Saudi leadership to justice. “Controlling [huge] sources of energy should not be enough to avoid responsibility for the murder,” Cengiz told Voice of America..

Hatice Cengiz, Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancée, attends the unveiling of a memorial plaque outside the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, dedicated to the anniversary of the journalist’s murder

The verdict, according to Cengiz, is unambiguous: perhaps in other circumstances, if there were no “big oil and arms deals” between the United States and Saudi Arabia, the Khashoggi case would not have been so easily “hushed up” at the highest level. Instead, the murdered journalist’s fiancee is left to watch as the Saudi court tries to pretend to bring the murderers to justice..

11 suspects are now in custody awaiting trial. Five face the death penalty if convicted. However, their role in the murder of Khashoggi remains a mystery to the general public..

A year without Khashoggi: why it was not possible to punish those who ordered the murder of a Saudi journalist

Regardless of the outcome of the case, UN human rights experts believe that this trial is nothing more than a parody of justice. The process is being conducted behind closed doors and cannot be assessed by independent observers. Thus, it does not fall within the definition of a “fair” court by international standards..

“Slap in the face”

After a six-month investigation, Agnes Callamar, UN Special Rapporteur, determined that Saudi Arabia was responsible for the “premeditated assassination” of Jamal Khashoggi on October 2, 2018..

Her report, released on June 19, contains gruesome details reported by the security services of Turkey and other countries. It is likely that Khashoggi was injected with a sleeping pill and then strangled with a plastic bag. With the help of wiretapping, it was possible to establish that soon after that, the sound of a saw was heard in the consulate building, with which, most likely, the killers dismembered the journalist’s body. The report cites six violations of international law, including deprivation of life, extraterritorial use of force, violent abduction and torture, and the killing of a journalist..

The international community agreed with the report’s findings and condemned the actions of Saudi Arabia, Callamar said in an interview with Voice of America. However, just ten days after the report was published, Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin and other world leaders exchanged pleasantries with the Saudi Crown Prince at the G20 Summit in Japan..

A year without Khashoggi: why it was not possible to punish those who ordered the murder of a Saudi journalist

“I took this friendliness towards the crown prince as a slap in the face,” says Callamard..

The UN expert believes that elected officials should uphold freedom of expression. She calls for the transfer of the upcoming G20 summit, to be held in Riyadh in November 2020, to another country. Callamard fears summit could “restore legitimacy” to Saudi Arabia.

The documentary “Frontline” premiered on PBS this week, in which Prince Salman reveals that he holds himself responsible for the murder of Khashoggi. “It happened under my leadership (of the country),” the prince said in an interview with the filmmakers. “I take full responsibility, because it happened under my leadership (of the country)”.

However, his words are “purely a political trick,” said Hatice Cengiz. “By admitting this, he also distanced himself from the murder of Jamal. He said that it happened under his leadership, but he meant that he was not involved in the crime, “Cengiz said, speaking at an event at the UN this week..

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