Mar 07, 2019 20:44 Asia/Tehran [Updated: May 14, 2019 21:40 Asia/Tehran]
  • EU joins first Saudi rebuke at UN forum
    EU joins first Saudi rebuke at UN forum

28 EU countries at the UN Human Rights Council joined others to condemn Saudi Arabia over the murder of Jamal Khashoggi and human rights violations.

Iran Press/Europe: As many as 36 countries, including all 28 members of the European Union, have taken Saudi Arabia to task for the first time over Riyadh’s glaring rights violations.

The group of countries expressed concerns about Riyadh’s rights records in a statement issued on Thursday and read out by Iceland.

“It is a success for Europe to be united on this,” an envoy of an EU country told Reuters.

The United States, which considers Saudi Arabia to be one of its regional allies and maintains strong economic and military cooperation with Riyadh, however, opted out of signing the statement, reported Press TV.

Saudi counter-terror law noticed

The undersigned expressed concern about the kingdom’s so-called counter-terrorism law, which it has been sweepingly using against protesters and dissidents.

"We are particularly concerned about the use of the counter-terrorism law and other national security provisions against individuals peacefully exercising their rights and freedoms," the statement read.

Khashoggi case

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Amnesty International urges UN probe into Khashoggi's murder

The Council’s statement further condemned “in the strongest possible terms" the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The prominent journalist was killed and had his body dismembered after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last October.

"The circumstances of  Khashoggi's death reaffirm the need to protect journalists and to uphold the right to freedom of expression around the world," the text said.

"Investigations into the killing must be independent, impartial, and transparent," it added, specifically calling for cooperation with an inquiry led by Agnes Callamard, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions.

Evidence has shown that the killing was carried out by a hit squad with close links to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Turkish officials have blamed Saudis for ordering the killing.104/203

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