Pressure is building in the international system, to get justice for the death of Jamal Khashoggi, a reporter, killed in Istanbul just over 2 weeks ago.
Protestors have set up camp outside the White House after Bob Corker stated the US must make an independent and credible decision on any further outcomes of the situation unfolding in Saudi Arabia. However, the international system calls out for justice, not intervention. One possible problem to the US being keen to be seen as the international peacekeeper is its impact on Saudi Arabia’s sovereignty when no legal cause has been justified.
Saudi Arabia’s official explanation has been attacked from all sides, a ‘fist fight’ gone wrong, ending with the death of Mr Khashoggi and now a central part to Saudi Arabia’s international affairs. They have allowed the resumption of the family and friends vigil to Mr Khashoggi, outside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
18 men are said to have been arrested for the ‘cover-up’ on top of two officials, as well as confidantes of Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman sacked. After the fight on October 2nd 2018, a close confidant of the perpetrators disposed of the body.
The Saudi Arabian government only recognized the murder earlier this morning.
In the US, Trump’s administration has continued to support the Riyadh line, amongst the growing pressure from the international system, led by Bob Corker, Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Corker put doubt into Saudi Arabia’s story.
Corker said: “The story the Saudis have told about Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance continues to change with each passing day, so we should not assume their latest story holds water… They can undergo their own investigation, but the US administration must make its own independent, credible determination of responsibility for Khashoggi’s murder under the Global Magnitsky investigation as required by law.”
Khashoggi lived in the US but was also a Saudi national, increasing the pressure on Saudi Arabia, and escalating the diplomatic crisis, pointing to a calculated assassination that was ordered by the Saudi royal court.
Mr Khashoggi’s death was not publicized but leaks in US media imply there was a significant level of brutality to his death, including the use of a bone saw.
Secretary-General Antonia Guterres, a spokesman at the United Nations stated he is “deeply troubled” and “stresses the need for a prompt, thorough and transparent investigation in the circumstance of Mr Khashoggi’s death and full accountability for those responsible.”
Amnesty International calls for an investigation by the UN, rather than the US, as it is less likely to impeach Saudi sovereignty, as well as multi-national resources and support.
Florida’s senator, Marco Rubio tweeted: “Saudi Arabia’s changing stories on Khashoggi’s murder is getting old,”
“The latest one about a fistfight gone bad is bizarre. We must move forward with Global Magnitsky investigation we requested, find out what really happened and sanction those responsible.”