Amnesty International calls for UN investigation into Khashoggi's death

Amnesty International calls for UN investigation into Khashoggi's death
© Getty Images

Amnesty International on Saturday reiterated its call for a United Nations investigation into the death of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi after Saudi Arabia acknowledged that he died inside its consulate in Istanbul.

The international human rights watchdog said that the Saudi government's explanation that Khashoggi died during a fight inside the consulate was not credible.

“The investigation findings by the Saudi authorities claiming that Khashoggi died as a result of a ‘fist-fight’ inside the consulate are not trustworthy," Samah Hadid, director of Amnesty International’s Middle East campaigns, said in a press release.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We call on the Saudi Arabian authorities to immediately produce Jamal Khashoggi’s body so an autopsy can be performed by independent forensic experts in accordance with international standards," Hadid added.

Amnesty International had previously joined other advocacy groups in calling for a U.N. investigation on Thursday, a day before Saudi Arabia acknowledged for the first time that Khashoggi died inside its consulate.

The kingdom had for weeks denied knowledge of the journalist's whereabouts, claiming initially without evidence that he left the consulate shortly after arriving.

Turkish authorities have claimed that the journalist, who was a resident of Virginia and served as an opinion contributor to The Washington Post, was ambushed and killed by Saudi operatives and had his body dismembered.

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said in a statement Friday that he was "deeply troubled" by the official explanation for Khashoggi's death, and called for a transparent investigation while not saying whether the U.N would conduct its own.

"The Secretary-General stresses the need for a prompt, thorough and transparent investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Khashoggi’s death and full accountability for those responsible," Guterres's press secretary said in a statement.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump's top adviser on Asia to serve as deputy national security adviser United Auto Workers strike against GM poised to head into eighth day Trump doubles down on call to investigate Biden after whistleblower complaint: 'That's the real story' MORE said Friday that he found the Saudi explanation for Khashoggi's death credible while calling the arrest of 18 Saudi nationals in connection with the case a "good first step."

Trump indicated that he would prefer "some form of sanction" on Saudi Arabia but said he wanted to protect U.S. arms sales to the kingdom.

"I would prefer that we don't use as retribution canceling $110 billion worth of work," he said.