A total of 36 countries strongly condemned Saudi Arabia for the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a UN representative said Thursday.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which Saudi Arabia has confirmed took place in its consulate in Istanbul,” Harald Aspelund, the permanent representative of the Republic of Iceland to the UN office at Geneva, said in a statement.
Aspelund said the circumstances of Khashoggi’s death reaffirm the need to protect journalist and to uphold the right to freedom of expression around the world.
Khashoggi, a journalist associated with The Washington Post newspaper, was killed last year in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Riyadh initially denied any role in the killing but has since sought to blame his death on a botched operation carried out by rogue agents.
Aspelund demanded Saudi Arabia, on behalf of 36 countries, including 28 member states of the EU, “to disclose of all information available and fully cooperate with all investigations into the killing”.
“Investigations into the killing must be prompt; effective and thorough; independent and impartial; and transparent. Those responsible must be held to account,” he added.
Aspelund urged Saudi Arabia to “take meaningful steps to ensure that all members of the public, including human rights defenders and journalists, can freely and fully exercise their rights to freedom of expression, opinion and association, including online, without fear of reprisals.”