RIYADH: The Saudi Human Rights Commission (HRC) has slammed a report by UN Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard suggesting that the US-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was the victim of a premeditated extrajudicial execution, for which the Kingdom is responsible.
The HRC stressed the report was biased and stemmed from prejudice, which neither reflects reality nor complies with the code of conduct for the work of UN special rapporteurs.
In a press statement, the HRC suggested Callamard’s assertions had breached UN principles of impartiality, objectivity and professionalism. The report, it added, constituted interference in the Kingdom’s internal affairs, contained clear contradictions regarding the evidence of the case, and ignored the directive issued by King Salman to conduct a comprehensive and transparent investigation into the incident.
So far, 11 people have been charged in connection with the death of Khashoggi. Trial proceedings are being followed publicly, and in the presence of all parties involved in the case, including the family of Khashoggi and their legal representatives, as well as representatives of the HRC and the diplomatic missions of a number of countries, including Turkey.
The HRC also stressed that judicial action taken in this regard fully complies with the relevant regulations of the Kingdom, as well as with international human rights standards, particularly over guarantees to a fair trial. The statement concluded by calling on the UN and others to respect the Kingdom’s judicial process, and not to politicize the case.