Saudi Arabia: NPWJ welcomes European Parliament’s clear, strong stand on the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Brussels-Rome, 25 October 2018

Declaration by Gianfranco Dell’Alba and Niccoló Figá-Talamanca, President and Secretary-General of No Peace Without Justice:
 
“No Peace Without Justice welcomes the Joint Resolution adopted today by the European Parliament condemning in the strongest terms the torture and killing of Jamal Khashoggi, which was an affront to freedom of speech and human dignity. We particularly welcome the Resolution’s call for an independent and impartial international investigation into the circumstances of Mr Khashoggi’s death and full accountability for all those responsible for ordering, planning and executing any operations connected with his case.
 
“Importantly, the EP underscores that this outrageous murder is not an isolated case, but “part of a pattern of widespread crackdown against prominent human rights defenders, women activists, lawyers, journalists, writers and bloggers” that has intensified since Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman came to power in June 2017. The murder dramatically demonstrates that the Saudi regime’s ambitious claims of reform are purely rhetoric and part of a smokescreen strategy used to cover the real face of an escalating and systematic campaign of repression to silence independent, dissenting or even dissonant voices by all means deemed necessary.
 
“Saudia Arabia will face its fellow UN members when it presents its human rights record under the Universal Periodic Review during the next Human Rights Council meeting on 5 November in Geneva. The EP Resolution is equally strong on urging the EU and its Member States to take a strong position both on Mr Khashoggi’s murder and the wider human rights situation in Saudi Arabia, including by raising the issue of its membership at the UNHRC. Similarly, should the direct involvement of Saudi agents in the disappearance and murder of Jamal Khashoggi be established, the EU should stand ready to impose targeted sanctions, including visa bans and asset freezes against Saudi individuals, including direct perpetrators and the masterminds and inciters of this crime.
 
“Finally, we welcome the Resolution’s emphasis on the need to impose “an EU-wide arms embargo on Saudi Arabia and to respect Common Position 2008/944/CFSP”. The EU and its Member States should stop providing arms and any other military or surveillance items that may be used by the Saudi regime for the purposes of internal repression or to commit massive international humanitarian law violations against civilians, such as in Yemen.  
 
“It is way past time for the international community, and the European Union in particular, to reconsider, at a fundamental level, their relationship with a leadership whose behaviour resembles that of a rogue regime. Failure to do so is, in reality, siding with tyranny and total disrespect for fundamental human rights and the rule of law”.
 
 
For more information, contact Nicola Giovannini on ngiovannini@npwj.org.