Inquiry into the killing of Mr. Jamal Kashoggi


Press Releases:


End of mission statement:

Media Advisory:

Questions & Answers:

1. Who has requested the inquiry?

I am undertaking this inquiry, at my own initiative, under the terms of my mandate as UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary killings.

There being, to date, no signal that the UN and Member States intend to demand officially or implement an international criminal investigation, leading to criminal proceedings as appropriate, I feel duty bound under the terms of mandate as UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary killings, to initiate a human rights inquiry into the killing of Mr. Khashoggi.  I conceive of this inquiry to be a necessary step, among a number of others, towards crucial truth telling about and formal accountability for the gruesome killing of Mr. Khashoggi.

Through my inquiry, I will assess the steps taken by governments to address and respond to the killing, as well as the nature and extent of States’ and individuals’ responsibilities for the killing. The inquiry will make recommendations about how to ensure formal accountability for the killing of Mr. Khashoggi and will identify broader ways by which States can strengthen fulfilment of their international commitments to protect the right to life, prevent violations and ensure accountability.

2. What is the expected duration of the inquiry? 

The inquiry should include several components. It begins with a mission to Turkey, taking place from 28 January 2019 (date of arrival) to 3 February 2019 (date of departure).

The collection of information and its assessment will continue afterwards. Request for a similar visit to Saudi Arabia has been made.  I am also requesting access to information that may be held by other relevant stakeholders such as by the authorities of the United States.

The final report should be available by the end of May 2019 and will be presented to the Human Rights Council at its June 2019 sessions.

3. Who has mandated this inquiry?

The mandate for this inquiry is based on my mandate as UN Special rapporteur.

As Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, I am appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council and mandated under resolution 35/15 to examine situations of extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions in all circumstances, and to submit my findings on an annual basis, together with conclusions and recommendations, to the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly.

Pursuant to resolutions of the Human Rights Council, I am mandated to investigate incidents of human rights violations falling within my mandate, report back to the Human Rights Council and draw its attention, as well as that of the UN General Assembly and other UN bodies, to serious violations that warrant immediate attention. It is standard practice for Special Procedures to undertake country visits, with the assent of the respective Government, to examine situations falling within our respective Mandates.

I serve in my personal capacity. I am totally independent -- from any government, the UN or any other party.

The individual mandate-holders are selected on the basis of their expertise, experience, independence, impartiality, integrity and objectivity.  The Special Rapporteurs are part of the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council and more information on those procedures is available at:

4. Who has requested the mission to Turkey?

I have requested the mission to Turkey.  As per the rules and practices of the Special Procedures, I have requested that the Turkish Government agrees to extend to me an invitation to undertake an official visit to Turkey to focus on the enforced disappearance and killing of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi that took place on 2 October 2018, in the consulate of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul. The Turkish Government has granted this authorization and extended their invitation.

5. How is the Special rapporteur mandate relevant to the killing of Jamal Khashoggi?

See question 3 above.

All evidence available to date suggests that the killing of Mr. Kasogi and the subsequent disappearance of his body, are serious human rights violations, and fall within my mandate. The mission to Turkey will seek to establish the circumstances of that killing. It will be based on international human rights standards with a particular focus on the extent and nature of States’ responsibilities both for Mr. Khashoggi’s death and for the steps taken in response to his killing. 

6. Is this an OHCHR inquiry?

This is not an OHCHR inquiry.

As Special Rapporteur, I serve in my personal capacity and I am independent from any government and the UN, including the OHCHR.  I am responsible before and report to the Human Rights Council, not the High Commissioner’s office.

7. Is the Special Rapporteur acting on the authority of the UNSG? UNSC?

Special Rapporteurs are fully independent from the UNSG or UNSC. They are responsible before and report to the Human Rights Council.

In the process of implementing their mandate, Special Rapporteurs do engage with the UNSG, UNSC or other UN bodies. These UN bodies may be the subjects of Special Rapporteurs reports, communications and recommendations.

I am not acting under the authority of the UNSG or the UNSC. I am acting under and in pursuance of a mandate given to me by the UN Human Rights Council in resolution 35/15. I implement my mandate and perform my duties and exercise my functions in an impartial and independent manner.  My final report to the Human Rights Council may include recommendations addressed to UN bodies, such as the UNSC, UN HRC or UNSG.

8. Why is it an international inquiry? 

I believe that an impartial and independent assessment is required in order to establish the truth and ensure justice for Jamal Khashoggi. It is hoped this will help ensure accountability and transparency in this case and may open new avenues for the prevention and protection of the right to life in other cases, including of journalists and human rights defenders, and accountability for their killings.

The implications of this complex and significant case are so grave that they warrant examination by an independent, international team, so that the full truth be established. I hope that my mission will contribute to that endeavor.

9. Who else is involved in the mission to Turkey? Are other UN bodies involved?

No other UN bodies are involved. I am heading the mission to Turkey which will include prominent legal experts and be supported by other experts in relevant technical and forensic matters.  I will consult with a broad range of experts and stakeholders as I seek to validate the information and evidence we gather.  I apply international human rights standards to interpret the implications of the case, in terms of States responsibilities and, where possible, potential individual criminal liability. In particular, the assessment will focus on the responsibilities that States carry specifically with regards to protecting the right to life of anyone, including journalists, human rights defenders, activists or others.

10. Does the Special Rapporteur expect to go to Saudi Arabia?

See above

I have informed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia of the country visit to Turkey and its purpose. I have requested access to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and a meeting with the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saud Arabia in Turkey.

I have also sought permission to conduct a similar country-visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I will also be requesting meetings with other relevant stakeholders.

11. Involvement with the Media

I will issue a limited number of media statements throughout the Inquiry, including the mission to Turkey.

Media statement will be issued as firm conclusions can be drawn.

A final Press Conference will be organized for the release of the report.