Khashoggi murder: Western powers are ‘sending the wrong message’ | UpFront (Special interview)

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  • Agnes Callamard, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions, who has been investigating the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi recently co-authored a report that suggests Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) hacked a mobile phone belonging to Jeff Bezos, the owner of Amazon and The Washington Post.

    “I believe,” Callamard said, “the hacking of Jeff Bezos is linked to a targeted campaign against dissidents and against anyone of strategic interest for information, communication, and public relations.”

    Since effectively taking control of Saudi Arabia, MBS has been ramping up the country’s influence abroad. Khashoggi wrote critically about the de facto ruler for The Washington Post and in October 2018 was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

    Though the Saudi government has jailed and sentenced to death some of the individuals who carried out the killing, Callamard has dismissed the process as a “mockery of justice”.

    “The individuals that had been identified as having, at the minimum, planned and organised the killing, those individuals are walking free,” Callamard explained.

    Callamard laments the response by countries in the West. In the US, where Khashoggi was a resident, President Donald Trump has not been shy in expressing his admiration for MBS, saying he would be a “fool” not to conduct business with the kingdom.

    “So far, the governments of the United States, of France, of the UK, have been unwilling to challenge the crown prince for his behaviours, and by so doing, they are sending the wrong message,” said Callamard.

    This week’s special interview is with the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings, Agnes Callamard.

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