Callamard Leads Inquiry Into Saudi Journalist’s Death

Columbia human rights scholar Agnès Callamard
Agnès Callamard (UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

Agnès Callamard, a Columbia human-rights scholar who is also the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions, has launched an independent international investigation into the death of Saudi journalist and US resident Jamal Khashoggi. 

Khashoggi, a highly respected political commentator whose writings in the Washington Post and other publications frequently criticized the Saudi government, was killed at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018. Saudi officials have acknowledged that secret agents from their country murdered him, but they insist that the agents went rogue.

Callamard says that her investigation aims to determine “the nature and the extent of states’ and individuals’ responsibilities” for the killing and to “assess the steps taken by governments to address and respond to” it. Her team will issue a report to the UN Human Rights Council in June.

Since 2014, Callamard has directed Columbia’s Global Freedom of Expression project, which promotes free speech around the world.