Five months after quitting the U.N.’s top human rights body, the United States has resurfaced at a Human Rights Council venue — calling for a “thorough, conclusive and transparent” investigation into the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Charge d’Affaires Mark Cassayre said the U.S. condemned the killing of the journalist at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last month.
The United States joined several dozen countries to raise the Khashoggi killing during an examination of Saudi Arabia’s record under a regular review process.
The Trump administration pulled the U.S. out of the 47-member council in June, accusing it of anti-Israel bias, among other things.
Council spokesman Rolando Gomez said the review process falls under the council and that the U.S. has announced plans to participate throughout the current round that began Monday.
A top Saudi human rights official has reiterated his government’s “regret and pain” over the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Speaking at a regular review of the kingdom’s record by the U.N.’s top human rights body, Bandar bin Mohammed al-Aiban, the president of the Saudi Human Rights Commission, emphasized that the monarchy had ordered an investigation to “bring the perpetrators to justice in order to bear the fact to the public.”
The killing of Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last month was likely to come up among representatives of more than 100 countries set to speak during the review of Saudi Arabia on Monday.
Other countries, including China, Mexico, Chad and Monaco, are also due to be reviewed in coming days by the 47-member U.N.-backed body.
A newspaper close to Turkey’s government claims that a team from Saudi Arabia sent to help Turkish authorities investigate the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi worked instead to remove evidence of the slaying.
Sabah newspaper, citing “trusted sources,” said Monday that an 11-member team of Saudi investigators that arrived in Turkey nine days after Khashoggi was killed included a chemical expert and a toxicology expert.
On Saturday, the paper said Khashoggi’s body — which still hasn’t been found — was dismembered and removed from the Saudi Consulate in five suitcases.
Meanwhile, Khashoggi’s sons appealed for his remains to be returned so that he may be buried in Saudi Arabia.
In an interview with CNN on Sunday, the sons also said they hoped he did not suffer when he was killed.