Amnesty International and several other leading global human rights organizations are calling for the United Nations to investigate the killing of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
In addition to Amnesty International, the groups include the Committee to Protect Journalists, Human Rights Watch and Reporters Without Borders. They have joined together to ask Turkey to pressure the U.N. to open up a formal investigation into Khashoggi’s death.
Khoshoggi was living in the United States and writing for the Washington Post when he visited Istanbul, Turkey on October 2nd. He entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and has not been seen since. Saudi Arabia initially denied any involvement in his disappearance and after 17 days admitted they knew he was dead, and have denied any involvement in the killing.
Saudi Arabia has now acknowledged that Khashoggi died inside its consulate in Istanbul. But the human rights groups are saying that the Saudi government’s explanation that Khashoggi died during a fight inside the consulate is not credible.
“The investigation findings by the Saudi authorities claiming that Khashoggi died as a result of a ‘fist-fight’ inside the consulate are not trustworthy,” Samah Hadid, director of Amnesty International’s Middle East campaigns, said in a press release.
“We call on the Saudi Arabian authorities to immediately produce Jamal Khashoggi’s body so an autopsy can be performed by independent forensic experts in accordance with international standards,” Hadid added.
Turkish authorities have claimed that the journalist, who was a resident of Virginia and served as an opinion contributor to The Washington Post, was ambushed and killed by Saudi operatives and had his body dismembered.
U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said in a statement Friday that he was “deeply troubled” by the official explanation for Khashoggi’s death, and called for a transparent investigation while not saying whether the U.N would conduct its own.
“The Secretary-General stresses the need for a prompt, thorough and transparent investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Khashoggi’s death and full accountability for those responsible,” Guterres’s press secretary said in a statement.
President Trump has said that he believes the Saudi explanation for Khashoggi’s death is credible. He also said that he would prefer “some form of sanction” on Saudi Arabia but made clear he also wants to protect U.S. arms sales to the Saudis, which total over $100 billion.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.