Senior Saudi official threatened to 'take care of' UN rapporteur investigating Khashoggi killing: report

Senior Saudi official threatened to 'take care of' UN rapporteur investigating Khashoggi killing: report
The remarks were reportedly made during a meeting between UN officials and a visiting Saudi delegation in Geneva, The Guardian reported.
2 min read
23 March, 2021
Agnes Callamard said the threats 'dont work on me' [Getty]
A top Saudi official made a perceived death threat against the United Nations' independent investigator after she led a probe into the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to the expert.

Speaking to The Guardian, Special Rapporteur for Extrajudicial Killings Agnes Callamard said she was warned about the alleged threats by a UN colleague in January 2020.

The colleague said that a senior Saudi official had threatened to have Callamard "taken care of" during meetings with UN officials in Geneva.

Callamard said the Saudi official's remarks were understood by her colleagues as: "A death threat. That was how it was understood."

The unnamed Saudi official reportedly wanted the UN to rein in Callamard's activities relating to Saudi Arabia, allegedly warning that he knew people who would "take care of the issue if you don't".

The UN officials then "made it clear to the Saudi delegation that this was absolutely inappropriate and that there was an expectation that this should not go further", Callamard said.

Callamard's investigation into Khashoggi's killing culminated in a 100-page report published in June 2019. The report said there was "credible evidence" that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other to officials were liable for Khashoggi's death.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, was killed in October 2018 while visiting Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul to obtain documents for his upcoming marriage. His disappearance and killing intensified international scrutiny on Saudi Arabia and its human rights record.

Last month, the Biden administration declassified a US intelligence report claiming that bin Salman personally approved Khashoggi's gruesome murder. 

Callamard, who will soon leave her UN role to become secretary general of Amnesty International, said the threats will not stop her work.

"You know, those threats don't work on me. Well, I don’t want to call for more threats. But I have to do what I have to do. It didn’t stop me from acting in a way which I think is the right thing to do," Callamard told The Guardian.

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