EYEAFRICA TV: New York, United States: United Nations spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric said the Secretary-General Antonio Guterres continues to stress the need for an independent and impartial investigation into the murder of Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, to ensure full examination and accountability for human rights violations committed in the case.
Speaking to journalists in New York on Saturday, Mr Dujarric said they have taken note of the reports that eight people have been convicted and sentenced over Khashoggi’s murder in a Riyadh court.
Jamal Khashoggi was a Saudi Arabian dissident, author, columnist for The Washington Post, and a general manager and editor-in-chief of Al-Arab News Channel who was assassinated at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on 2 October 2018 by agents of the Saudi government after they had allegedly used Israeli spyware to hack his friend’s cell phone. He also served as editor for the Saudi newspaper Al Watan, turning it into a platform for Saudi progressives.
Spokesperson Dujarric said the Secretary-General also reiterates the UN’s commitment to ensure freedom of expression and protection of journalists as well as their long-standing opposition to the death penalty.
Khashoggi fled Saudi Arabia in September 2017 and went into self-imposed exile. He said that the Saudi government had “banned him from Twitter,” and he later wrote newspaper articles critical of the Saudi government. He had been sharply critical of Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman, and the country’s king, Salman of Saudi Arabia. He also opposed the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen.
Earlier last week, media reports indicated that a Riyadh court had sentenced five people to death and three others to prison terms over the killing of the Saudi journalist.
On 2 October 2018, Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain documents related to his planned marriage, but was never seen leaving. Amid news reports claiming that he had been killed and dismembered inside, an inspection of the consulate, by Saudi and Turkish officials, took place on 15 October. Initially the Saudi government denied the death, but following shifting explanations for Khashoggi’s death, Saudi Arabia’s attorney general eventually stated that the murder was premeditated. By 16 November 2018, the CIA had concluded Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman ordered Khashoggi’s assassination.