US human rights report names Saudi in Khashoggi murder

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The Jamal Khashoggi’s murder case continues to get murkier with UAE refusing to accept that the Washington Post journalist was killed in the Arab consulate in Turkey.

The head of the Saudi human rights commission, Bandar Al-Aiban, has told the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva that the Kingdom had taken all necessary measures in the case of murdered journalist.

In his speech, Al-Aiban said three meetings had been held in the Khashoggi case so far, and that Saudi Arabia “categorically rejects any talk about the internationalization of Khashoggi’s case.”

Al-Aiban said in response to claims in the International media that there were no secret detention centres in Saudi Arabia, adding that they violated laws, and that UN recommendations were against Saudi regulations.

He also said that the Arab Coalition is committed to international human rights law.

However, US State Department annual global human rights report which was released earlier this week said the columnist was killed by agents of the kingdom while he was inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. The report, however, failed to mention as to who was responsible, despite the belief of intelligence agencies and lawmakers that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the murder.

According to Associated Press, the report also added that the murder was one of several instances in which “the government or its agents engaged in arbitrary or unlawful killings” and contributed to “an environment of impunity” in the country. 

It also cited a range of other human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia, including the arrest of at least 20 prominent women’s rights activists, executions for nonviolent offenses, forced disappearances and torture of prisoners. The report noted some gains in the monarchy, including that women were allowed to vote and run as candidates in municipal elections for the first time.

Khashoggi had been living in Virginia in self-imposed exile as he wrote columns critical of the Saudi government under the crown prince, the de factor leader.

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