An international organization dedicated to press freedom on Thursday slammed Saudi Arabia for a continued denial of justice in the 2018 murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
“Two years have passed since Jamal Khashoggi was murdered, yet Saudi Arabia has failed to name or hold responsible the mastermind behind the killing,” said Barbara Trionfi, executive director of the International Press Institute, in a statement.
“The recent verdicts in the Saudi trial are a mockery of justice that the international community should not accept.”
The 59-year-old journalist was killed and dismembered by a group of Saudi operatives shortly after he entered the country’s consulate in the Turkish metropolis of Istanbul on Oct. 2, 2018.
Riyadh offered conflicting narratives to explain his disappearance before acknowledging he was murdered in the diplomatic building in a “rogue operation.”
On Sept. 7, the Riyadh Criminal Court commuted death sentences and handed down prison terms of up to 20 years to the accused, pardoned by the journalist’s family. They were sentenced to death last year.
Trionfi also criticized those governments which have remained silent on the brutal killing.
“The fact that Saudi Arabia has managed to avoid any real consequences for this abominable act exposes the hypocrisy of human rights discourse by governments that continue to roll out the red carpet for the Kingdom,” she said.
Earlier, UN human rights investigator Agnes Callamard termed the Saudi verdict on the murder a “parody of justice” that spared “high-level” plotters.
Meanwhile, Turkish prosecutors have filed a second case against six Saudi nationals for Khashoggi’s killing.
The indictment against the two members of consular staff — Sultan Yahya A. and Yasir Halit M. — demands separate aggravated life sentences.
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