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Open Society calls for global sanctions on Saudi crown prince after US intelligence report on Khashoggi murder Monday, 01 March 2021


In response to the release, Amrit Singh, lawyer for the Open Society Justice Initiative, said: “We welcome the Biden administration’s release of this long-awaited report. This is an important step forward, but it is not enough. The U.S. and other governments must take immediate measures to hold the Crown Prince and the Saudi government accountable for their flagrant disregard for the rule of law. They must issue a full range of travel and financial sanctions on the Crown Prince. They must also suspend all arms sales to Saudi Arabia.”

The Open Society Justice Initiative has sought disclosure of the report in litigation pending before a New York federal court against the U.S. Office of Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). Under the Trump administration, ODNI argued in court that releasing the Congressionally-mandated report on the murder would harm national security, including by revealing intelligence sources and methods. After the Biden administration took office, ODNI sought and obtained an extension until March 3, 2021 to update the court on the new administration’s position in the lawsuit.

Given today’s new evidence presented to the U.S. Congress, Open Society is calling for immediate accountability measures on the Saudi government and the Crown Prince:

  • United States:
    • Impose the full range of sanctions on MBS and other individuals identified in the report who have not already been designated
    • Suspend all arms sales to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) as long as it continues to engage in a consistent pattern of gross human rights violations (On 27 January 2021, the Biden administration put a temporary freeze on some sales).
    • Enact legislation that will ensure governments are held accountable for the persecution of dissidents, journalists, and human rights defenders.
  • European Union:
    • Impose travel and financial sanctions on MBS under the new EU Global Human Rights Sanction Regime.
  • Key U.S. Allies (United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Canada, and Australia):
    • Impose the full range of sanctions on MBS and other individuals identified in the report who have not already been designated
    • Suspend all arms sales to KSA as long as it continues to engage in a consistent pattern of gross human rights violations.

In a parallel lawsuit pending in the same federal court against CIA, ODNI, and the Departments of Defense and State, the Open Society Justice Initiative is challenging the U.S. government’s withholding of additional records about the murder, including a tape of the murder and a 2018 CIA report on the murder that reportedly identified the Crown Prince as responsible. The CIA has informed the Court that, by March 10, it will produce a “Vaughn index” identifying the report and explaining the legal basis for withholding it.

Singh went on to say, “The U.S. government still needs to disclose numerous other records about the murder and its cover-up that it has withheld from the public in Open Society’s litigation.”

The Open Society Justice Initiative is represented before the court by Amrit Singh and James A.
Goldston, together with Debevoise & Plimpton, a leading international law firm, with offices in the United States, Europe, and Asia. The Debevoise team is led by Catherine Amirfar and Ashika Singh.

Documents released in litigation are publicly available on the Open Society Foundations’ Document Cloud.

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"Diario ilustrado". Una publicación electrónica independiente que apoya puntos de vista liberales, progresistas, Pro-europeos y Pro-empresariales. La publicación fue creada por un grupo de periodistas independientes en oposición a la línea mediática de Rupert Murdoch y publicaciones conservadoras y de derecha. Publicado en español

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