The U.N. special rapporteur on extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard, will head to Turkey next week to look into the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, her office said on Thursday.
A spokesman for the United Nations human rights office, Jeremy Laurence, confirmed the Jan. 28 to Feb. 2 visit in an email. But the head of Human Rights Watch, Kenneth Roth, said in Davos that the trip falls short of the urgently needed U.N. inquiry because Callamard, like all special rapporteurs, is an independent and unpaid expert who does not speak for the world body.
“We are at a kind of moment at stalemate with the Khashoggi case. There is a lot of evidence pointing to this being something ordered by the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,” Roth said. “The next step we are all looking for is a U.N. investigation. And [U.N. Secretary General Antonio] Guterres is desperate to avoid this because he doesn’t want to offend the Saudis.”
Callamard “is just a special rapporteur. She is not the U.N. So it will not have the same authority,” Roth continued. But he voiced hope that the visit would be a step towards finding out “who ordered” the killing.
Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor, was murdered on Oct. 2 in Turkey in what Saudi Arabia called a “rogue” operation, tipping the kingdom into one of its worst diplomatic crises.