GENEVA – On the occasion of the second anniversary of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder, Geneva Council for Rights and Liberties ( ECHR) calls for an end to the policy of impunity and the stop of the cover-up to protect those involved in the horrific crime. GCRL believes that it’s high time to hold accountable the perpetrators involved in the heinous murder of Khashoggi inside Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018.
Amid opposed narratives produced by both Turkey and Saudi Arabia about Khashoggi’s killing and to avoid any the politicization of the incident, Geneva Council calls for an independent international investigation into this crime, prevention of a cover-up, and the whitewash of all those involved in the crime through incitement, direction, planning, and execution, and bring them to a special international court.
After being lured to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Khashoggi was tortured, murdered, hacked into pieces a bone saw, and burned by a Saudi security squad, according to Turkish investigations. Some individuals had confessed to the murder and Saudi officials said the journalist was killed in a “rogue operation”.
Geneva Council believes that the Saudi investigations and the proceedings of trials are unfair and a form of covering up the crime and the main perpetrators responsible for directing the assassination order.
On December 23, Saudi Arabia sentenced five people to death in the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The court sentenced three others to prison terms adding up to 24 years. On September 7, the court issued new rulings commuting the death sentences against 5 defendants to 20 years in prison, with three others imprisoned between 7 and 10 years. On the other side, Turkey has opened the trial in absentia of two former aides of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
GCRL believes that the international community especially the US administration, an accomplice to Saudi Arabia’s abuses for material gain, has failed to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for Khashoggi’s murder. The council calls for urgent action to stop the Saudi harassment of Khashoggi’s family members, colleagues, and all who stand with his cause, to release those detained, and put an end to violations attempted to silence those who condemn the crime.
Geneva Council echos the call of the United Nations Special Rapporteur, Agnes Callamard, who investigated Khashoggi’s killing, for the governments of the G20 countries to boycott the summit that will be hosted by Saudi Arabia from 21–22 November 2020 in the capital Riyadh headed by Mohammed bin Salman
On June 19, Agnes Callamard issued her findings into the killing last October of Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, confirming that his killing was the result of elaborate planning involving extensive coordination and significant human and financial resources. It was overseen, planned, and endorsed by high-level officials. She concluded that there was credible evidence, warranting UN criminal investigation of high-level Saudi officials including that of the Crown Prince.