US News Khashoggi assassination: the surprising forgiveness of his children to his Saudi assassins

23:21  22 may  2020
23:21  22 may  2020 Source:   lexpress.fr

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The journalist's children, murdered in 2018 at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, said that they forgave the assassins. An announcement that makes you react.

Le journaliste saoudien Jamal Khashoggi, le 15 décembre 2014 au Bahreïn. © afp.com/MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, December 15, 2014 in Bahrain.

This case had gone around the world and tainted the international image of the Saudi prince. Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi regime after being close to it, was murdered and his body cut into pieces on October 2, 2018 in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul where he went to recover a document, according to the Turkey.

Surprising announcement on Friday: the children of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi said they "forgave" their father's killers. "We, the children of martyr Jamal Khashoggi, announce that we forgive those who killed our father," Salah Khashoggi, the eldest son of the former contributor to the American daily Washington Post, wrote on Twitter.

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The Saudi authorities did not react to this announcement by Salah Khashoggi, who lives in Saudi Arabia and has always denied any financial arrangement with the government. L'Express takes stock of this strange forgiveness, which is already causing a reaction.

A pardon which should allow the accused not to be executed

What is the consequence of this announcement? For Ali Shihabi, Saudi author and analyst close to the government, "it mainly means that the murderers will avoid capital punishment since it is a right that the family has by forgiveness", according to Sharia, Islamic law.

Following an opaque trial in Saudi Arabia, five Saudis were sentenced to death and three sentenced to prison terms for the assassination of Khashoggi. The verdict pronounced in December, described as a "travesty of justice" by international human rights organizations, came as the kingdom was stepping up diplomatic efforts to draw a line under this crisis and restore its image as it approached. of the G20 summit, organized by Ryad this year. "According to Sharia law applied in Saudi Arabia, the murderers will not be executed," added analyst Nabeel Nowairah on Twitter.

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"No one has the right to forgive": a pardon rejected by the fiancée

The Turkish fiancée of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, murdered by Saudi agents in Istanbul, said on Friday that "nobody has the right to forgive his murderers ", after this gesture of leniency. "The trap set for him and his heinous murder have no limitation period and no one has the right to forgive his murderers. We will not stop until justice is done for Jamal", tweeted the bride, Hatice Cengiz.

"Everyone knows that there is no freedom and justice in Saudi Arabia under the current regime," she added in statements sent to AFP. According to her, Jamal Khashoggi "has become an international symbol and his murder is an international crime which must be tried before an independent court". She added: "No law, whether international, Saudi or Islamic, should allow those responsible for this monstrous crime to be released."

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A "huge political and social pressure" behind this forgiveness?

"It is sad to see the sons of Khashoggi undergoing new humiliations on the part of the Saudi regime with their so-called forgiveness for the murderers of their father", reacts to AFP Bessma Momani, Middle East specialist and professor at the University of Waterloo in Canada.

"To suggest that this act of forgiveness is voluntary is to ignore the enormous political and social pressure probably exerted on the sons by the same circle of political power which was behind the murder of their father," she judges. In the past, Salah Khashoggi had already assured to have "full confidence" in the Saudi judicial system, criticizing the opponents who, according to him, sought to exploit this affair.

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In April 2019, the Washington Post had assured that the four children of the murdered journalist, including Salah, had received homes worth several million dollars and were paid thousands of dollars a month by the authorities. The family then denied.

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A "shocking" pardon, a "travesty of justice" according to a UN expert

The UN expert who investigated the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents in Istanbul deemed this Friday "shocking "May his sons forgive the alleged murderers of their father, seeing it as a new act in the Saudi" travesty of justice ".

"Although shocking, the announcement that the family of the murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has forgiven his murderers was expected," said UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, Agnes Callamard , in a statement. as an independent expert does not speak for the United Nations.

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"The Saudi authorities play what they hope to be the final act of their travesty of justice (... ) before an international community far too ready to be deceived, "she added, saying that the leniency of the journalist's sons was another" act "of this travesty. As in the past, she called on UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres "to act". She asked him for a "follow-up investigation" focusing on "the chain of command and associated individual responsibilities, including at the highest levels of the state."

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