Death threat made against UN investigator by top Saudi official

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Written by: Norvisi Eyiram

Death threat against UN investigator Agnes Callamard in a high level meeting by a senior Saudi official saying she would be “taken care of” resulting her investigation into the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in a meeting with colleagues in January 2020.In an interview with the British newspaper, she indicated a coworker informed her, the statement was made twice in a meeting with other senior officials around in Geneva. The outgoing special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary killings said the comments were understood as a “death threat” by her colleagues.

Been the first official to investigate the murder of Khashoggi,in Istanbul kingdom consult in October 2018.Khashoggi was a former royal insider who often wrote judgmentally of the Saudi government. Callamard said in a report published in June2019 Khashoggi’s death “constituted an extrajudicial killing for which the State of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is responsible”. Also indicated the Saudi crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman should be investigated .Later report by US intelligent indicated the crown prince ordered the murder. The Saudi government rejected “the negative, false and unacceptable assessment in the report”.

The threats made at a “high-level” meeting between Geneva-based Saudi diplomats, visiting Saudi and UN officials in Switzerland. She was told the Saudis criticized her investigative work, inciting anger about her conclusions and claim she received money from Qatar allegations used against critics. Shesaid one official alleged receiving phone calls from individuals who were prepared to “take care of her”, the guardian newspaper stated. UN officials’ present raised concerns at the meeting as some Saudi officials told them not to take the statement seriously.

While vacating the room but the visiting senior Saudi official stayed back, and repeated the threat to the remaining UN officials in the room, Callamard was told. The Saudi official said he knew people who offered to “take care of the issue if you don’t”.

“It was reported to me at the time and it was one occasion where the United Nations was actually very strong on that issue. People that were present, and also subsequently, made it clear to the Saudi delegation that this was absolutely inappropriate and that there was an expectation that this should not go further”