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UN human rights chief calls for international experts to help Khashoggi inquiry

UN human rights chief calls for international experts to help Khashoggi inquiry
Copyright Reuters
Copyright Reuters
By Claire Heffron with Reuters
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United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet called on Tuesday for international experts to be involved in an independent investigation into the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi

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UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Tuesday stressed that the murder of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi must be investigated in an independent and impartial manner to ensure a full examination of, and accountability for, the human rights violations committed in the course of a “shockingly brazen crime.”

“I welcome the steps taken by Turkish and Saudi authorities to investigate and prosecute the alleged perpetrators of Khashoggi’s murder,” High Commissioner Bachelet said. 

“But given the information that high-level officials in Saudi Arabia were apparently involved, and it took place in the Consulate of Saudi Arabia, the bar must be set very high to ensure meaningful accountability and justice for such a shockingly brazen crime against a journalist and Government critic.”

“For an investigation to be carried out free of any appearance of political considerations, the involvement of international experts, with full access to evidence and witnesses, would be highly desirable,” she said. 

Bachelet added that it would be important to determine whether serious human rights violations such as torture, summary execution or enforced disappearance were committed and to identify all those implicated in this crime, irrespective of their official capacity.

The High Commissioner called on the authorities in Turkey and Saudi Arabia to cooperate in ensuring that the full truth is revealed about Khashoggi’s murder and that the rights to the truth and justice of his family – and the public at large – are fully realised.

“Forensic examination, including an autopsy on the body of the victim, is a crucial element in any investigation into a killing, and I urge the Saudi authorities to reveal the whereabouts of his body without further delay or prevarication,” she said.

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