Could Khashoggi Case Bring Turkey to Ask a UN Inquiry? It Should Be
United Nations: The Committee to Protect Journalists, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and Reporter Without Borders jointly called on Turkey to "urgently ask UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to establish a UN investigation into the execution of the prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi." Video Here
During a press conference at the United Nations Thursday morning, hosted by the United Nations Correspondents Association at UNCA Room, a point emerged above than others.
It is time for Turkey, the 157th country out of 180 in the Reporters Without Borders' world rankings 2018, to show to the international community if it wants to change its approach or not.
"We hope that the increased pressure that is coming from many governments and from the press can change the current situation," the United Nations director at Human Rights Watch Louis Charbonneau said during the press conference.
"Turkey should enlist the UN to initiate a timely, credible and transparent investigation," Robert Mahoney, deputy executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, added.
The evidence collected by the investigation should be preserved for use in future prosecutions. Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and all UN member countries, they said, should fully cooperate with the investigation.
"UN involvement is the best guarantee against Saudi whitewash or attempts by governments to sweep the issue under the carpet," Mr. Mahoney emphasized.
During the press conference Sherine Tadros, Head of New York Office at Amnesty International, also remarked that "It is in Turkish interests to do that, we need an incredible investigation."
While "we are calling on Turkey to initiate this process because it is the place where it happened," Ms. Tadros promised, "it won't be the only thing we are going to do." Jamal Khashoggi's case has exploded on October 15, when the Turkish authorities announced that they had initiated a criminal investigation on the day of Khashoggi's disappearance on October 2.
Khashoggi has entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to get marriage documents. Before to do that, he has left her fiancé Hatice Cengiz his phones and instructions to alert the Turkish authorities if he did not return after two hours.
Mr. Khashoggi never went out from the Saudi consulate. As part of the investigation, Turkish authorities conducted a forensic examination of the Saudi Arabian consulate on October 15.
Although Saudi Arabia has denied involvement, claiming the Saudi reporter left the consulate on his own, information from the investigation has been shared with the media, including claims regarding the existence of audio and visual records proving the Khashoggi was murdered in the consulate.
The Turkish government has been leaking details in the domestic press that suggest that a 15-member hit team from Saudi Arabia assassinated Mr. Khashoggi inside the consulate, severing his fingers and decapitating and dismembering him.
According to a story by The New York Times, one of them, Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, had tied with the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman.
"Partial explanations and one-sided investigations by Saudi Arabia, which is suspected of involvement, aren't good enough," UN director Louis Charbonneau said during the press conference Thursday, as "only the UN has the credibility and independence required."
Also, a Turkish-Saudi working group investigating the murder, Charbonneau underlined, is considered unable to make progress.
It is time for Turkey to ask UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to establish a UN investigation.
"Without a credible UN inquiry, there will always be a cloud of suspicion hanging over Saudi Arabia," Ms. Tadros pointed out.
As a prominent Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi has served two stints as editor-in-chief of the Saudi daily al-Watan. He has also been a Washington Post columnist, since he moved to the US, last year.
In December 2016, Saudi authorities publicly denounced him after he criticized the US President-Elect Donald Trump.
"I am a journalist, like you. We are under threat around the world as I have never seen in years," Robert Mahoney pointed out calling on journalists to not forget the case.
"It touched a nerve. Because it is about Saudi Arabia. Because it is about the United States. Because it is the murder of a journalist. We need to keep the pressure on this story," he said.