Posted on Oct 20, 2018
The US based journalist Jamal Kashoggi was murdered in Saudi Arabia's consulate in Turkey, it is now confirmed.
Several countries, including the UK, have pulled out of an upcoming Saudi investment conference and the Euro deputies have now voiced concern about future EU-Saudi relations, including lucrative arms sales to the Kingdom.
Members of the European Parliament have called for action against the Saudi regime.
Foreign affairs committee chair David McAllister said, “Free media and the protection of journalists are fundamental principles of the European Union.”
The German EPP deputy added, “The disappearance and alleged murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Kashoggi must be thoroughly investigated.”
Swedish Greens MEP Linnea Engstrom goes even further calling for an arms embargo against the Saudis.
She says, “This case bluntly shows what kind of regime we're talking about. Being dependant on fossil fuels such as oil from these corrupt regimes which constantly violates human rights is a huge mistake. We need to stop dealing with regimes like this.”
Charles Tannock,a British Conservative, whose party has consistently supported the Saudi regime, said, “I have never had any doubts as to the scant regard for individual human rights in the KSA ever since the ITV 1980 documentary "death of a princess" in which a saudi princess was executed for adultery and most recently by the execution of a Shia cleric Al Nimr for protesting at the treatment of the Shia minorities there and the extent of the Wahhabi Salafist crackdown against perceived Iranian influence.
“Tragically the initial coalition air campaign in Yemen also demonstrated a complete disregard for the customary international rules of war as civilian areas were bombed randomly.
“It was only after international pressure including the resolution of the parliament I co-authored that the targeting was improved against legitimate military ones but the most recent civilian school bus attack raised serious questions again.
“Therefore when Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi went missing with accusations of him being murdered by a Saudi hit squad in its Istanbul consular premises I was not surprised as he was an irritant as a major critic to the Saudi authorities having denounced a number of things including the Yemen war prosecuted under the new young Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman.
“I believe now Turkey should make public as a NATO country and democracy what evidence it has to support its serious claim Khashoggi was murdered in the KSA consulate in Istanbul and Saudi Arabia should stop threatening counter measures unless the USA and the EU three of Germany, France and UK drop their diplomatic demarches.”
Tannock, an ECR member, added, “I disagreed with the recent statement by the UK Foreign secretary that we share common values with the KSA as clearly we don't but I still recognise the west has large commercial interests in bilateral trade deals with KSA and diaspora communities living and working there so we must maintain friendly relations whilst remaining critical at the brutality and lack of fundamental human rights in that strategic Middle Eastern country."
German deputy Manfred Weber, leader of the EPP, also intervened, saying: “Media freedom is a fundamental right and a prerequisite for functioning democracy everywhere in Europe. If journalists cannot do their job freely, in the long run, our democracies will cease to be democracies.”
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