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Last Update: 18 Hour and 25 Minute ago
News code: 26446
Published Date: Saturday 20 October 2018 - 13:55:21
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World calling for UN action against Saudi Arabia in Khashoggi case

World calling for UN action against Saudi Arabia in Khashoggi case
World  - International human rights groups and press freedom organizations, alarmed by signs of backroom deal-making by world powers, are calling for a United Nations probe into the disappearance of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a 60-year-old Washington Post columnist who vanished after entering his nation’s consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

The groups, which include Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Reporters Without Borders, and the Committee to Protect Journalists, are urging Turkey to ask UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to launch an investigation to determine who ordered, planned, and carried out what unnamed Turkish and US officials have described to journalists as the extrajudicial killing of Khashoggi.

This is an important development, because the rights groups are concerned about geopolitical machinations and backroom diplomatic meetings between top-ranking US, Saudi, and Turkish officials, which they say could undermine justice for the dissident journalist. They say the only chance to fight impunity for the possible crime is to do it through the UN.

Of course, this is not just about justice for Khashoggi. A wave of similar regime-sponsored killings of political enemies and civilians could increase if there are no consequences for Riyadh. Holding the mobster regime to account could change Riyadh's behaviour and likely discourage future similar behaviours.

The world community is prepared to punish Saudi Arabia over what happened. But for this to happen, the Trump administration needs to stop supporting the Saudis, and must not continue to refuse intelligence access to the world community. US intelligence agencies do have more information on the Khashoggi affair, and reports suggest that they are leaning toward the same conclusion as Turkey, that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was behind it. This is very bad for President Trump's current policy of inaction.

This has to stop, or else the international backlash against the Saudis will only increase. The incident has international consequences. The managing director of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, as well as Western banks, investment companies and major media outlets are not attending the upcoming Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh. The foreign ministers of the G7 have issued a statement demanding an investigation. The scandal has dealt a major blow to the future of Saudi Arabia's economy. The mood in Washington is similarly fraught.

The Washington Post, for which Khashoggi wrote opinion pieces, says it will not let go of the issue. Nor will other international media outlets. Every government but the Trump administration wants to see some change. Even Senator Graham Lindsay, a warmongering ally of Trump, promises to get rid of Mohammad bin Salman - irrespective of his own political motives:

"I'm not going back to Saudi Arabia as long as this guy is in charge," Graham said of bin Salman. "I've been their biggest defender on the floor of the United States Senate. This guy is a wrecking ball. He had Khashoggi murdered in a consulate in Turkey and to expect me to ignore it, I feel used and abused. The MBS figure is to me toxic, he can never be a world leader on the world stage. It's up to the president, but what I would do - well, I know what I'm going to do. I'm gonna sanction the hell out of Saudi Arabia."

This is what the international civil society expects from the UN as well: An independent probe and imposition of economic sanctions if Riyadh is found guilty. The UN should also probe and sanction Saudi Arabia over its brutal war on Yemen. There should be no blind spot for the more routine victims of unchecked Saudi aggression. Civilian deaths in Yemen cannot be explained away anymore. Riyadh wants the Yemeni oil fields, and a pipeline from Saudi Arabia through West Yemen, where Saudi oil can be shipped from without passage through the Iran controlled Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf. Riyadh also wants to control all of the Yemeni coast and all of its islands.

Which means the world shouldn't let go of the botched assassination of Khashoggi. The Turkish media have reported on that and the Turkish government has published pictures of 15 men who had come from Saudi Arabia and were in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul shortly before Khashoggi visited it to get his divorce papers. Turkish media say it took them seven minutes to torture and kill Khashoggi.

At least 8 of the 15 men have been identified as Saudi royal military. At least three are bodyguards of the Saudi clown prince MBS. It is thereby obvious that the crown prince himself gave the order for the operation. One of the 15 is Dr. Salah Muhammed Al-Tubaigy, the head of forensic evidence at the Saudi General Security Department. It's not that hard to explain that the men are part of MBS' personal entourage.

Long story short, Saudi Arabia is America's main ally in the Arab world so when its credibility is damaged so is that of the US - and when it fails so does the US. Saudi Arabia has certainly been weakened and condemned globally by reportedly murdering a critic in cold blood, a mistake that is convincing many governments in the world and intelligence experts in the West that the operational capacity of the regime is even more limited than they had imagined.

The Khashoggi saga is only the latest of a series of criminal Saudi ventures since 2015 that have rightly failed to turn out as planned. The list includes a failed war on Yemen that cannot continue without US support; a failed war on Syria by means of ISIL and Al-Qaeda that provoked Iranian-Russian intervention; the blockade of Qatar; and the detention of Lebanese Prime Minister Sa'ad Hariri.

As is, the reports on the torture-killing of Khashoggi have unified the world against the brutal regime of Saudi Arabia. It is time for the world to unify and prevent the killing and assassination of other critics as well as hundreds of thousands of Yemenis as well. What the rights groups are demanding now is an international pursuit of justice for all victims of Riyadh's criminal violence at the UN.

 

News Code: 26446
Published Date: Saturday 20 October 2018 - 13:55:21
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