GENEVA : We know that Saudi crown prince is behind the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last fall in Turkey, said a Saudi Arabian human rights activist on Monday.
“[Saudi Crown Prince] Mohammed bin Salman, we know, is behind all of that [Jamal Khashoggi killing],” Yahya Assiri, told the 40th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Khashoggi was brutally murdered inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul shortly after he entered the diplomatic facility in October, 2018. Riyadh initially denied any role in the killing but has since sought to blame his death on a botched rendition operation being carried out by rogue agents.
Speaking at a panel titled Saudi Arabia – Time for Accountability, Assiri addressed the human rights violations in the country, highlighting that no single decision could be taken in his country without the knowledge of bin Salman.
Stressing that the perpetrators of the Khashoggi killing were still out, Assiri added that Saudi Arabia did not cooperate with the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial and Arbitrary Executions Agnes Callamard over the investigation into the killing.
“Regarding the Khashoggi case, we ask for an international and independent investigation; without it, we cannot find the reality,” Assiri, who lives as a political refugee in the U.K., told Anadolu Agency.
“[Without international probe] the Saudi regime will feel free and they will continue the crimes. So, we ask the international community to pressure for the international investigation,” he urged.
Recalling Saudi rejection of claims, Assiri said his government kept “lying all the time,” and after the international pressure they had to admit the crime.
“But we need to keep the pressure until they admit that Mohammed bin Salman is behind it,” he added.
Assiri also thanked Turkey for its efforts to shed light on the murder, adding only an international investigation would reveal the truth.
“We ask the Turkish government also to keep pushing to forward this file to the international investigation,” he said.
Saudi-born Assiri studied at Human Rights and Political Communication department of the Kingston University in London.
Last week, Saudi State Minister for Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubair did not speak on the Khashoggi murder and he refused to reply the questions of journalists regarding the topic during his speech at the UN Human Rights Council.
Khashoggi’s body has yet to be found despite the information on time, place and way of the killing were revealed during the time passed since the murder on Oct. 2, 2018.AA