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