UN special rapporteur in Turkey to lead investigation into Khashoggi disappearance

UN Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard will arrive in Turkey today to begin her investigation into the October murder of Saudi

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Photo: Reuters

UN Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard will arrive in Turkey today to begin her investigation into the October murder of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi was infamously killed and dismembered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul by government agents. Turkey and the CIA, among others, have concluded that the killing was ordered by Saudi Crown Prince and de facto ruler Muhammad bin Salman, often called MbS.

The finding of MbS’s culpability led to international condemnation as well as renewed scrutiny of Riyadh’s war against the Houthis in Yemen. In response, despite President Trump’s ambivalence about MbS’s guilt, Washington stopped refueling Saudi jets midair. In December, the Senate voted to end support for the war, but the issue was not taken up by the then-Republican-led House.

Callamard is set to present her findings to the UN Human Rights Council in June. She will likely find the same result as past investigations, and report MbS as responsible; this could lead to a broader UN investigation. This all is unlikely to dislodge MbS from his position or significantly alter many states’ relations with Saudi Arabia. But, it could renew the impetus of previous responses, such as another push by the US Congress to end aid for the war.

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