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UN experts demand probe into disappearance of Saudi journalist in Istanbul

GENEVA (9 October 2018) - UN experts have expressed their grave concern about the disappearance of Saudi journalist and government critic, Jamal Khashoggi, in Istanbul, and called for a prompt independent and international investigation into the case. 

Jamal Khashoggi has been missing since entering the consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul on 2 October 2018. He has not been seen since.

“We are deeply concerned at the disappearance of Mr. Khashoggi, and at the allegations of state-sponsored murder,” said the Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, Bernard Duhaime, the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression, David Kaye, and the UN Special Rapporteur on summary executions, Agnes Callamard.

“An independent international investigation must immediately be launched into the events. Those responsible - perpetrators and masterminds - should be identified and brought to justice. We call on the Saudi and Turkish authorities to cooperate fully to resolve this case.

“We are concerned that the disappearance of Mr. Khashoggi is directly linked to his criticism of Saudi policies in recent years,” the experts said. “We reiterate our repeated calls on the Saudi authorities to open the space for the exercise of fundamental rights, including the right to life and of expression and dissent.” 

ENDS

Mr. David Kaye, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression; Ms. Agnes Callamard, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; and the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances. 

The Special Rapporteurs and Independent Experts are part of the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity. 

For more information and media requests please contact:
Ms. Azin Tadjdini (+41 22 917 9400 / 
atadjdini@ohchr.org) or write to freedex@ohchr.org.

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts please contact:
Mr. Jeremy Laurence (+41 22 917 9383 / 
jlaurence@ohchr.org)

This year is the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN on 10 December 1948. The Universal Declaration – translated into a world record 500 languages – is rooted in the principle that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” It remains relevant to everyone, every day. In honour of the 70th anniversary of this extraordinarily influential document, and to prevent its vital principles from being eroded, we are urging people everywhere to Stand Up for Human Rightswww.standup4humanrights.org.