Jamal Khashoggi Case: Saudi Arabia criticised sharply at UN rights body

In a rare criticism of Saudi Arabia at the UN Human Rights Council, thirty-six nations condemned the oil-rich kingdom on Thursday over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Iceland while reading a statement on behalf of a group of states demanded justice in Khashoggi’s killing and expressed “significant concerns” about reported abuses in Saudi Arabia.

Iceland’s UN ambassador Harald Aspelund in his statement said “Investigations into the killing must be prompt, effective and thorough, independent and impartial, and transparent. Those responsible must be held to account.”

While cooperating with separate UN inquiries into Khashoggi’s death, the statement called on Saudi authorities “to disclose all information available” about its own investigation

EU states along with Australia, Canada and New Zealand backed Iceland’s UN ambassador Harald Aspelund statement.

Human Rights Watch said the statement was “the first-ever collective action” at the council on rights in Saudi Arabia, which had successfully evaded criticism at the UN body.

The Saudi journalist was killed on the premises of the Kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018. Saudi Arabia has since put 11 suspects on trial for the gruesome killing with prosecutors seeking capital punishment for five of the accused.

The whereabouts of Khashoggi’s body are still unknown, as international organisations like the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) have called for an independent trial.

Saudi Arabia has repeatedly refuted all the allegations in Khashoggi’s killing all the while showing its commitment towards bringing the perpetrators to justice.