It is with great sorrow that we continue to mourn the tragic extrajudicial killing of CAF collaborator Jamal Khashoggi. A journalist, activist and analyst, Khashoggi was executed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey a year ago, and those responsibility have still not been brought to justice. Various narratives were presented from the Saudi government, alongside speculation from other entities: first claims of a disappearance, then an unintended death, and finally a premeditated killing. Saudi Arabia has charged 11 suspects that they have declined to extradite. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary killings, Agnes Callamard, led an investigation and issued a report indicating that international law has been violated, with the Saudi government and its senior leadership responsible. The Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has denied his involvement, and his government has not initiated the recommended steps provided by Callamard. Worse still, the international community has yet to hold him or his regime accountable for his actions.
The Committee to Protect Journalists has issued a demand for the US and UN to seek justice for Jamal Khashoggi. Indeed, the continued lack of transparency and accountability regarding this appalling event is jarring. Khashoggi himself dedicated his work to bringing visibility to the suppression of democracy and freedom of expression throughout the Middle East region. That the perpetrators continue to enjoy impunity draws attention to how freedom of expression and transparency is facing threat on a global scale. CAF would urge that not only on the UN and the US, but all relevant international bodies, countries, institutions and actors to fulfill their obligation in obtaining justice. The Common Action Forum Tribunal will do its part in investigating his case during the 2019 OCTAGON conference, precisely exercising its mandate to respond and bring visibility to violations of human rights in instances where insufficient action has been taken.
Of course, in addition to its demand for the international community to deliver justice, CAF continues to mourn the passing of an inspiring and cherished collaborator. One year later, we remind ourselves of his quality as an individual, as well as the important nature of his work, and the responsibility to continue his legacy.