16 October 2018
UN Security Council must impose sanctions on Saudi Arabia for the murder of Khashoggi
Citizens International strongly condemns the kidnapping and brutal murder of Saudi journalist Kashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The available evidence points to Mohamed bin Salman as the man behind the murder.
Khashoggi had gone to collect a document in the consulate to get married the next day to a Turkish woman. He was in the consul general’s office talking to the consul when he was dragged out to another room, interrogated, tortured, killed and his body cut to pieces with a bone saw.
This barbaric act was carried out by bin Salman’s agents, fifteen of them, who had arrived in Istanbul by private jet the previous day. Some of the murderers were from bin Salman’s personal body guards. They booked into the hotel for four days but left hours after the murder. A gruesome audio and visual recording of the interrogation, torture and death, has been shared by Turkey with its Western allies.
Bin Salman is United States President Trump’s man. According to Michael Wolff’s book Fire and Fury, Trump told his friends: “We’ve put our man on top!”.The cruel tyrannical Saudi regime, an anachronism in the modern world, depends on the US for its survival. Trump had warned King Salman that he would not last for two weeks without US military backing. The price for protecting the Saudi regime -$200 billion worth of Saudi investments in the United States, including large purchases of U.S. military equipment.
The Saudi regime has been condemned by human rights organisations for gross violations of human rights. Opponents of the regime are disappeared or locked up in prison. There are over 10,000 political prisoners and many of them have been subjected to torture. Human rights defenders, social activists and Islamic scholars who do not support the crown prince have been detained and tortured.
In Yemen, one of the poorest countries in the world, the Saudi rulers are conducting a horrendous war against the poverty-stricken people there. They have bombed school children, hospitals and infrastructure providing basic amenities. Recently, a Saudi coalition attack on a bus carrying school children killed 51 people, including 40 children. The attack was carried out using US manufactured and supplied precision-guided bomb. The coalition claimed it was a legitimate military action.
Responding to calls for US to stop supplying arms to the Saudi regime after the murder of Khashoggi, President Trump said: “[The Saudis are] spending $110bn on military equipment and on things that create jobs … for this country. I don’t like the concept of stopping an investment of $110 billion into the United States.”. What happened to the American values that they boast about? Dollars trumped principles!
The coalition has imposed a blockade which has led to a humanitarian disaster. The United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres told a conference that Yemen is the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. As the conflict enters its fourth year, more than 22 million people – three-quarters of the population – need humanitarian aid and protection. Every ten minutes, a child under five dies of preventable causes.
A committee of experts appointed by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate the human rights situation in Yemen, in their 41page report, concluded: “…individuals in the Government of Yemen and the coalition, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and in the de facto authorities have committed acts that may, subject to determination by an independent and competent court, amount to international crimes.”
The Saudi autocratic regime must come to an end so that the people of Saudi Arabia can enjoy freedom, democracy and human rights. The United Nations has to intervene to promote democracy and deautocratisation (ending autocracy), just like it supported decolonization. Autocracy, like colonialism, denies people their right to self-determination enshrined in the UN Charter. Thus, there is no place for autocratic regimes in the modern world. A special UN committee, modelled on the UN decolonization committee, should be created to promote the ending of autocratic regimes.
We call on:
- The United Nations Security Council to impose sanctions on Saudi Arabia
- Until those responsible for the kidnapping and murder of Khashoggi are prosecuted and punished.
- Until democratic reforms are introduced to the satisfaction of the Council
2. The United States, France, Britain to impose military and economic sanctions against the Saudi regime.
3. The Malaysian government to condemn the kidnapping and murder of Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and to
call on the UN Security Council to take firm action to bring the criminals to justice.
S.M. Mohamed Idris