Komorebi Post: Some 36 countries, including 28 EU nations, have expressed sharp criticism and jointly condemned the human rights violations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at today’s session of the UN Human Rights Council.
The countries signed a statement in Geneva that demands the immediate release of jailed women rights activists and Saudi Arabia’s cooperation with the UN-led probe into journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s brutal murder on October 2, 2018.
The Washington Post columnist and dissident was a harsh critic of the Riyadh government and was assassinated by a squad in Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul. He entered the premise to obtain documents for his planned marriage, where he was attacked, injected with lethal substances and cremated in a furnace. As per Al Jazeera reports, Turkish authorities monitored the burning of the outdoor furnace from outside the premises, as bags allegedly containing the journalist’s body parts were transported.
The statement issued today was read by Iceland’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva Harald Aspelund and is the first rebuke of the Kingdom at the UN Human Rights Council. “The circumstances of Mr. Khashoggi’s death reaffirm the need to protect journalists and to uphold the right to freedom of expression around the world,” read the statement.
Earlier this year, the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Agnes Callamard, who had visited Turkey, said the killing of Mr. Khashoggi was part of a well-evidenced pattern of killings globally of journalists, other human rights defenders, activists and opponents of various regimes. “Fleeing abroad in search of safety has become less and less a reliable form of protection”, said the Special Rapporteur, who will present her report in full length to the Human Rights Council in June.
Germany’s foreign minister Heiko Maas said on Wednesday that the Federal government will extend the ban on arms exports to Saudi Arabia until the end of March. “We have done this also in reference to the development in Yemen. We feel that the Yemen war must end as soon as possible”, said Maas.