Friday 15 November 2019

UN calls for lifting of diplomatic immunity in missing journalist case

Michelle Bachelet said the Vienna Convention on immunity ‘should be waived immediately’.

A Turkish forensic police officer searches for evidence in the Saudi consulate (Emrah Gurel/AP)
A Turkish forensic police officer searches for evidence in the Saudi consulate (Emrah Gurel/AP)

By Associated Press Reporter

The UN human rights office is calling for the immediate and “absolute” lifting of diplomatic immunity enjoyed by any officials or premises in the investigation into the disappearance and suspected killing of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi.

UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet said the “inviolability or immunity” of people or premises granted under the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations “should be waived immediately”.

She said on Tuesday the “onus is on the Saudi authorities” to reveal what happened, and insisted “no further obstacles” should be placed in the way of a quick, thorough, impartial and transparent investigation.

Ms Bachelet stopped short of calling for an international investigation.

Rights office spokesman Rupert Colville said “we hope the lifting of immunity is absolute” and that “investigators need to be able to investigate everything they may wish”.

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