Responding to the release of the UN report on the murder of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which concludes that he was the victim of “an extrajudicial killing for which the state of Saudi Arabia is responsible under human rights law,” and that “there is credible evidence, warranting further investigation of high-level Saudi officials’ individual liability, including the Crown Prince’s,” Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East Director of Research, said:
“We call on UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to immediately take up the Special Rapporteur’s recommendation to launch an international follow-up criminal investigation. The UN report confirms that the steps taken to date by Saudi Arabia to ensure accountability are not only inadequate, but violate themselves human rights standards, both procedurally and substantively.
“Those proven to be responsible for this despicable act must be brought to justice, regardless of their official capacity. Secretary General Guterres must send a strong signal that the targeted killings of dissidents, journalists, activists and human rights defenders worldwide will be met with robust action.
“The report’s findings confirm that the lives of Saudi Arabian dissidents and critics living abroad are at risk. The international community must continue pressuring Saudi Arabian authorities to put an end to their relentless crackdown against all form of free expression which manifest through the ongoing pattern of arbitrary arrests, torture, and grossly unfair trials followed by executions of a wide range of Saudi Arabian civil society members.”