December 7, 2022

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US grants immunity to Saudi crown prince in Khashoggi case

US grants immunity to Saudi crown prince in Khashoggi case

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (‘MBS’) has escaped the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The Biden administration is pushing for Bin Salman’s diplomatic immunity as prime minister.

“Jamal died again today.” This was tweeted by Hades Genghis, the fiancee of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Former columnist of The Washington Post He was murdered and beheaded in the Saudi embassy in Istanbul in 2018 for his critical articles on the Saudi regime and the war in Yemen. CIA investigation He pointed to Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman as a sponsor of the massacre.

However, the US State Department has now indicated that the Saudi prince has immunity as head of state. It says in a statement to the US court. By doing so, the Biden administration has effectively ended the civil suit brought by Genghis against MBS and his suspected associates. Don, the action group Khashoggi founded to work on democracy in the Arab world, helped him in this. In all likelihood, Judge John Bates will now declare the case inadmissible.

Impunity

Officially, the explanation is that the prince enjoys immunity since he was appointed prime minister of Saudi Arabia at the end of September. But that appointment is a formality, all power rests with the king, crown prince and relatives. In fact, Crown Prince MBS was already the most powerful Saudi Arabian at the time of the assassination, even more so than his 86-year-old father.

“Immunity today. “All this leads to impunity,” says Agnes Callamard of Amnesty International. As the United Nations’ special rapporteur, she led an international human rights inquiry into the killing at the time. Her report pointed the finger unmistakably at the Saudi government. She calls the US nation ‘a deep betrayal’, which It gives the impression that you can get away with the biggest crimes if you allow yourself to be appointed as head of state in time.

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There had long been doubt whether the United States would allow Prince’s arrest. The US is the main arms supplier to the Saudi regime, and the Saudis want to pump more oil to keep tank prices down. Saudi Arabia is the opposite: Earlier last month, OPEC, led by Saudi Arabia, decided Reduce oil production. They did so in the midst of an energy crisis and at a politically vulnerable time for the Biden administration, just before the midterms.

license to kill

Khashoggi’s assassination soured relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia. Joe Biden promised in his presidential campaign to make the country a great country. Relations between the Trump administration and the Saudis have been good. When Donald Trump took office, Riyadh was his first foreign trip.

Last summer, Biden began the turnaround. He Visited Saudi Arabia In the month of July. His ‘fist’ with MPS was seen as an endorsement of the regime. “It’s ironic that President Biden single-handedly promised to absolve MBS of accountability,” tweets Sarah Leah Whitson, “President Biden promised the American people he would do anything to hold him accountable.”

Genghis sought American justice after an earlier trial Under pressure from MBS It ended in a conflict in Genghis’ homeland, Turkey. On April 7 this year, the Turkish court recommended the trial To Saudi Arabia, many of the prime suspects have already been acquitted. In Saudi Arabia itself, a fake trial took place in 2019, described by Amnesty International as ‘money laundering’.

The US decision has also unnerved other opponents of the Saudi regime. One of them is Saad al-Jabri, a former high-ranking figure in the Saudi regime living in exile in Canada. A few days after Khashoggi’s murder, a Saudi assassination squad targeted him at the Toronto airport until he was intercepted. According to him, Biden now gives MBS’license to kill‘.

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