Marking six months since the shocking murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Samah Hadid, Amnesty International’s Middle East Director of Campaigns, said:
“Six months after the extrajudicial execution of Jamal Khashoggi, there are still no real signs of justice or international accountability. It has become clear that the issue is being swept under the carpet by the Saudi authorities and foreign governments for the sake of security cooperation, lucrative business ties and arms deals.
“The Saudi Arabian authorities’ ongoing trial of 11 suspects lacks credibility and transparency. It is also outrageous to learn that some governments whose diplomats have attended the trial of the alleged suspects have remained silent on fair trial concerns, especially given the prosecution is seeking the death penalty for some defendants. Other than the attendance of representatives of foreign governments, independent monitoring bodies and media have not been permitted to attend the closed trial proceedings, which is extremely worrying. Under these unacceptable circumstances, the presence of diplomats risks being seen as legitimizing a potentially flawed trial
“Given the lack of transparency from the Saudi authorities and in the absence of an independent judiciary, an international, independent and impartial investigation is the only way to avoid a whitewash of this grave crime.
“Saudi Arabia has an appalling human rights track record. We urge the Saudi Arabian authorities to end systematic violations of human rights and to allow activists, human rights defenders, journalists, and critics to freely express their views without fear of being targeted for extrajudicial execution, arbitrary detention or other gross human rights violations.”
On October 2, 2018, Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi consulate building in Istanbul, Turkey. Mr Khashoggi was reportedly strangled moments after entering the building, though the details of what happened to him remains clouded in doubt amid numerous claims, counter-claims and denials from Saudi authorities, including the whereabouts of his body. Currently, 11 alleged suspects are believed to be on trial before the Specialized Criminal Court in Riyadh for the murder.
Amnesty International launched a campaign calling on UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to set up an independent investigation into Jamal’s Khashoggi’s death on October 2, 2018.