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Khashoggi investigator demands UN tools to tackle dissident killings

UN investigator Agnes Callamard, on Wednesday, urged the UN Human Rights Council to create tools to prevent and probe targeted killings of dissidents abroad.

She made the plea when she presented her report on the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Callamard proposed “rapid intervention mission’’ to assist national investigations and to propose the protection of people who are targeted by their governments or by non-state actors in another country.

The investigator who serves as the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings said that the standing unit would be overseen by the UN Human Rights Office in Geneva.

In addition, the UN should set up a permanent mechanism to carry out their own criminal investigations into killings and enforced disappearances.

Summing up her report, Callamard concluded that it was likely “an extrajudicial execution, an enforced disappearance and possibly an act of torture for which the state of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia is responsible.’’

Callamard reiterated that further investigations are needed to look into the liability of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and senior officials.

Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul by a team of Saudi operatives in October 2018, as he was trying to retrieve documents for his planned marriage to Turkish writer Hatice Cengiz.

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