Saudi Arabia “completely rejects” the US assessment of Khashoggi’s murder

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Saudi Arabia “completely rejects” the US assessment of Khashoggi’s murder. The report notes that the de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, approved the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. “The government of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia completely rejects the negative, false and unacceptable assessment contained in the report regarding the kingdom’s leadership, and notes that the report contained inaccurate information and conclusions,” the Saudi Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

According to a US intelligence report released on Friday by the Biden administration after declassifying it, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has “authorized” an operation to “capture or kill” dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman saw dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi as a threat to the kingdom and broadly supported the use of violence if necessary, to silence him. The CIA report on the killing of Jamal Khashoggi lists twenty-one people who the 007 Americans consider with “high confidence” to be accomplices or responsible for the dissident journalist’s death on behalf of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

In the report on the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, US intelligence has “a high conviction” about the responsibilities of the individuals involved in the death of the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi but is unable to say whether they knew in advance that the operation would end with his killing. Saudi prince Mohamed bin Salman will not be hit by US sanctions. Politico reports this, citing US administration sources. The US Treasury is preparing to impose sanctions on Saudi general Ahmed al-Asiri, former deputy head of the intelligence services in Riyadh, for the Khashoggi assassination. Sanctions also for the Saudi Rapid Intervention Force involved in the murder.

The Joe Biden administration does not want a break with Saudi Arabia but wants to recalibrate relations with Riyadh. The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated yesterday. The US State Department launches the so-called ‘Khashoggi policy’ or ‘Khashoggi ban’ to punish all people who, acting in the name of a government, are thought to have directly participated or engaged in activities against “serious and extraterritorial” dissidents. The Bloomberg agency reports that the US administration has already identified 76 people who could be sanctioned. Among the measures the withdrawal or restriction of visas.

According to Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Saudi Arabia doesn’t allow independent media. The authorities keep Saudi journalists under close surveillance, even when they are abroad, as Jamal Khashoggi’s murder in Istanbul in October 2018 demonstrated. Despite his talk of reform, Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) has intensified the repression since he was appointed crown prince in June 2017.

The number of journalists and citizen-journalists in prison has tripled since the beginning of 2017. Most are being held arbitrarily and are likely subjected to torture, which is almost systematic for prisoners of conscience. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia poses a continuing threat to human rights, and for this reason, several Western countries, including the United States, have taken measures against Riyadh. These include a halt to arms sales and support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

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