Procedure : 2018/2885(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0505/2018

Texts tabled :

B8-0505/2018

Debates :

Votes :

PV 25/10/2018 - 13.18

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2018)0434

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
PDF 173kWORD 52k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0498/2018
22.10.2018
PE624.201v01-00
 
B8-0505/2018

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure


on the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul (2018/2885(RSP))


Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Ignazio Corrao, Rolandas Paksas on behalf of the EFDD Group

European Parliament resolution on the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul (2018/2885(RSP))  
B8‑0505/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the statement of the spokesperson of the UN human rights office (OHCHR), Rupert Colville, on the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi,

–  having regard to the G7 Foreign Ministers’ statement on the disappearance of Mr Khashoggi,

–  having regard to the remarks by Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) Federica Mogherini on the disappearance of Mr Khashoggi,

–  having regard to the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement on the disappearance of Mr Khashoggi, a Saudi national,

–  having regard to the joint statement of 21 October 2018 by the UK, France and Germany on Mr Khashoggi’s death,

–  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,

–  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

–  having regard to Saudi Arabia’s membership of the UN Human Rights Council,

–  having regard to the EU Human Rights Guidelines on Freedom of Expression Online and Offline,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions,

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas Mr Khashoggi was a renowned journalist who was once part of the Saudi establishment but in recent years had become critical of the kingdom’s rulers and in particular a vocal critic of the Saudi Government’s intervention in the war in Yemen; whereas Mr Khashoggi moved to Washington in September 2017 in fear of a crackdown in the country, living in self-imposed exile;

B.  whereas Mr Khashoggi was in Istanbul to obtain paperwork from the Saudi authorities in order to marry his Turkish fiancée; whereas on Tuesday, 2 October 2018 Mr Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate, and that was the last time he was seen in public; whereas Saudi officials initially said he had left the building 20 to 30 minutes after his arrival; whereas, on the same day, Turkish staff at the consulate were told to take the day off;

C.  whereas on Friday, 5 October 2018 Saudi Arabia allowed Turkish authorities to search its consulate in Istanbul; whereas following Mr Khashoggi’s disappearance, the walls of the consulate were repainted and a professional cleaning crew was seen entering the building;

D.  whereas informal Turkish sources close to the investigation said that Mr Khashoggi was dragged from the consul general’s office to the study next door and then killed;

E.  whereas Turkish authorities are said to have an audio recording of Mr Khashoggi’s death; whereas, on the basis of this unconfirmed recording, Mr Khashoggi is thought to have been first injected with an unknown substance and then dismembered while still alive;

F.  whereas Turkish authorities have identified and linked to the disappearance and murder of Mr Khashoggi 15 Saudi nationals, among them Saudi royal guards, intelligence officers, soldiers and an autopsy expert who travelled to Istanbul and back on the day of the journalist’s disappearance;

G.  whereas Saudi officials initially denied allegations of Mr Khashoggi being killed inside the consulate building but presented no evidence to corroborate their account, stating that cameras were not working on the day Mr Khashoggi visited the consulate; whereas the Saudi government initially stated that reports suggesting that Mr Khashoggi went missing in the consulate in Istanbul or that the Saudi authorities had detained him or killed him were absolutely false and baseless;

H.  whereas on Monday, 15 October 2018 Saudi officials said that an internal investigation into the disappearance and presumed murder of the Saudi critic and Washington Post columnist had been opened;

I.  whereas Saudi Arabia has finally admitted to the death of Mr Khashoggi and blamed the killing on a ‘rogue operation’, while denying that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the senior leadership of the intelligence service were aware of the operation;

J.  whereas Turkey and Saudi Arabia are in the middle of a strained relationship stemming from overlapping interests in the region, in particular regarding Qatar;

K.  whereas these events have sparkled international public outrage but international leaders and organisations are remaining noncommittal until they are more certain about the circumstances; whereas a number of lawmakers in the US are invoking the Global Magnitsky Act, supporting a ban on all arms sales and a stop to military cooperation with Saudi Arabia;

L.  whereas Saudi Arabia’s track record on human rights is deeply worrying and events such as Mr Khashoggi’s disappearance shed serious doubts on the will of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to truly reform the country;

M.  whereas Saudi Arabia currently sits on the UN Human Rights Council;

1.  Is appalled that in 2018 a high-profile journalist can disappear and be murdered inside a consulate building, and stresses that the systematic practice of enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings of persons constitutes a crime against humanity; laments that these events have further lowered the bar of journalistic freedom in Saudi Arabia and throughout the world;

2.  Considers it to be of the utmost importance to shed light on the events leading to the death of Mr Khashoggi; calls for an international independent and impartial investigation to be launched into the matter with the full support of Saudi and Turkish authorities and insists that those responsible, both perpetrators and masterminds, should be identified and brought to justice;

3.  Supports the call of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for diplomatic immunity to be waived to allow such an investigation to take place unhindered;

4.  Calls on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to conduct a thorough, credible, transparent and prompt investigation, as announced, and to provide a complete and detailed explanation, and urges both Turkish and Saudi authorities to fully cooperate on the issue; calls for the EU to offer support and technical assistance to the Turkish authorities in their investigation;

5.  Is convinced that Mr. Khashoggi’s murder is directly linked to his criticism of Saudi Arabia’s policies, and in particular his criticism of Saudi intervention in Yemen; notes that Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s reforms have been accompanied by a crackdown on human rights advocates and political freedom within the country and the systematic use of anti-terrorism law to justify torture and imprisonment of human rights defenders;

6.  Is deeply troubled by the allegations of state-sponsored murder and extra-judicial killing and is not satisfied by Saudi Arabia’s explanation of the facts; calls on Saudi Arabia to provide further clarification of exactly what happened on 2 October 2018 as the versions of events provided so far lack credibility;

7.  Reminds the Saudi regime that, as a party to the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Saudi Arabia is obliged to take all measures to prevent torture, enforced disappearances and other serious human rights violations, to investigate allegations of acts constituting these crimes, and to bring to justice those suspected of committing them;

8.  Calls on the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the VP/HR to continue monitoring the developments concerning Mr Khashoggi’s murder; believes it is necessary to have a strong, unified EU response and to activate the full spectrum of the EU’s diplomatic tools, including targeted sanctions against all those found responsible, or involved, in the case;

9.  Calls, once again, for an EU-wide ban on the export, sale, update and maintenance of any form of security equipment to Saudi Arabia which can be or is used for internal repression, including internet surveillance technology; calls on the VP/HR to report on the current state of military and security cooperation by EU Member States with the Saudi regime;

10.  Believes that, in the light of the multiple documented violations of human rights both at home and abroad, Saudi Arabia’s position on the Human Rights Council is unsustainable and inherently contradictory; calls on the UN General Assembly to suspend the country’s membership;

11.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the European External Action Service, the UN Secretary General, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Human Rights Council, H.M. King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, and the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

 

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