RNA - The Berlin-based ESOHR issued a statement on Sunday, lauding the report issued by Agnes Callamard, the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary killings, who investigated the case of the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi by the government of Saudi Arabia.
On June 19, the UN issued a report where it said that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was the victim of a premeditated extrajudicial execution, for which the State of Saudi Arabia is responsible, according to a report published today by the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary killings.
In her 101-page report, she stressed that there is “sufficient credible evidence” indicating that the Saudi crown prince bears responsibility for the murder, and that he should be investigated for the murder. Recently, she criticized the United States for inaction over Khashoggi's case.
The ESOHR echoed the report’s finding that Khashoggi was executed in an extrajudicially, and called for a fair prosecution of the perpetrators even if Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MbS) is one of them.
“The Saudi government targeted Agnes Callamard instead of being responsive to the UN report, and claimed that he had breached his remit and applied an unprofessional methodology,” the statement read.
“Although Callamard was expecting such a reaction, her report is based on material documents and drafted according to professional principles of the UN,” it added.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, at least four Saudis and an Arab dissident in the US told the Middle East Eye (MEE) news portal on July 12 that they had received visits by FBI agents following the killing of Khashogg by a Saudi hit inside the kingdom’s consulate in Turkey's Istanbul in October 2018.
Some of them said the agents had tried to calm them and called first and then meeting in a public location near their home.
“They (FBI agents) were like, ‘Yep, we are worried about your safety. Your name has been flagged here in certain circles and in Europe’,” stated the Arab activist, who had been working with Khashoggi.
He added that the agents had told him that they were sorry about the murder of Khashoggi and that they were “doing everything we can to get to the bottom of it”.
One of the Saudi dissidents, who met with the FBI agents in early November, noted, “I told them that I’m kind of afraid to deal with you guys because the current government has worked closely with [Crown Prince] Mohammad bin Salman and the Saudi government”.
“They said, ‘Don’t worry. We are here to protect people from everywhere. It doesn’t matter who is in the White House',” he stressed.
The dissident also noted he had grown wary when the agents suggested that he could help the FBI in return, if he chose to do so, for assistance with his asylum case.
Another Arab dissident stated that he had been asked if agents could visit him again and replied, “'If it’s just for a chat or something, I’m not available'. I didn’t want to have a regular thing with him”.
Meanwhile, an FBI spokesperson claimed in an email sent to the MEE that the agency “regularly interacts with members of the communities we serve to build mutual trust around protecting the American public”.
Back in May, the Time reported that the CIA and foreign security services had sent warnings to at least 3 Khashoggi associates in Norway, Canada and the US that their continuation of pro-democracy work has made them targets of potential retaliation from Saudi Arabia.
Prominent human rights activist Iyad el-Baghdadi, who lives in political asylum in Oslo, was one of those who had been approached by the CIA.
He told the MEE that the US intelligence agencies’ attempts to stop potential Saudi activity show their level of concern.
“They know that MBS is deeply problematic and a terrible ally, an ally who threatened people on your own territory for God's sakes. What kind of ally does this?” he said, referring to MbS.
“In the end, what does it say that they are unable to convince the guy in the White House that this is a problem? It tells us that US intelligence agencies completely know that this guy is trouble and that the only reason he can continue to do this is [Trump's son-in-law and law and senior adviser] Jared Kushner and Donald Trump,” he added.