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UN investigator slams US inaction against MbS following Khashoggi report

Agnes Callamard addressed a Geneva news conference on Monday [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 2 March, 2021

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Washington's decision not to sanction the crown prince was an "extremely dangerous move", the UN's special rapporteur on summary executions said.
A UN rights investigator has slammed the US for failing to act against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, after determining that the de factor ruler approved an operation to capture and kill journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Agnes Callamard, the UN's special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, and arbitrary executions who led a UN investigation into Khashoggi's 2018 murder, criticised the "disappointing" scarcity of details which were revealed when Washington declassified a US intelligence report on Friday.

Addressing a Geneva news conference, she suggested Salman's escape from individual consequences for the killing was an "extremely dangerous move on the part of the USA".

This was akin to acknowledging "someone's culpability and then to tell someone 'but we won't do anything, please proceed as if we have said nothing'," Callamard said.

The human rights investigator repeated her calls for targeted sanctions against the 35-year-old prince.

The US on Monday said it reserved the right to impose those sanctions "at a time and manner" of its choosing, while cautioning that Washington's leaders had not "historically" taken such action against heads of countries where it has diplomatic relations.

Bin Salman was spared any punishment when the intelligence report was released on Friday. His anti-dissident Rapid Intervention Force, who exists to protect him and whose members were involved Khashoggi's murder, were sanctioned.

"We have urged Saudi Arabia to disband this group and then adopt institutional, systemic reforms and controls to ensure that anti-dissident activities and operations cease and cease completely," State Department spokesman Ned Price said.

Read more: US presses Saudis over Khashoggi killing amid calls to punish prince

The Saudi government denounced the US report, maintaining Khashoggi's killing was a rogue operation that did not involve the crown prince.

Khashoggi, a critic of Bin Salman who wrote for The Washington Post and was a US resident, was lured to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018, where he was later killed and dismembered.

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