EXPERT RAPS BIDEN’S FAILURE TO SANCTION SAUDI CROWN PRINCE
The UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings who investigated the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is calling on the US to sanction Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) reported.
Agnes Callamard said on Monday it was "source of disappointment" that the new administration of President Joe Biden released a declassified report on the 2018 killing that laid blame on the crown prince, but then failed to sanction him.
"So far the government of the US has not announced any actions to build on their findings of a liability and responsibility on the part of the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman," Callamard said at a press briefing.
"It is extremely, in my view, problematic, if not dangerous, to acknowledge someone's culpability and then tell that person but we won't do anything, proceed as if we have said nothing."
By not sanctioning the man considered the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, the UN expert said Washington was not standing up for human rights and press freedom.
A declassified intelligence report released by the US on Friday said Mohammed "approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey to capture or kill" Khashoggi.
The Treasury Department subsequently announced sanctions against Mohammed's Rapid Intervention Force and the US State Department announced a visa ban on 76 Saudi individuals allegedly involved with threatening dissidents overseas, including the killing of Khashoggi. But the crown prince was not among them.
A 2019 UN investigation led by Callamard said Khashoggi was murdered by a Saudi hit squad and his body was dismembered after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.