US move to protect Saudi crown prince in journalist murder: NPR

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman takes a seat before a working lunch at the G20 Summit in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, Tuesday, November 15, 2022.

Leon Neal/AP

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Leon Neal/AP

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman takes a seat before a working lunch at the G20 Summit in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, Tuesday, November 15, 2022.

Leon Neal/AP

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration said Thursday that Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Murder of a US-based journalista diversion from Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s passionate campaign trail denunciation of Joe Biden over the brutal killing.

The regime, the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia and the recently named prime minister, holds the senior position of the crown prince, the fiancée of murdered Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, and a rights group founded by Khashoggi. , said he should be defended against lawsuits brought by democracy…for the Arab world.

This request is non-binding and a judge will ultimately decide whether to grant the waiver.But this is sure to anger human rights activists and many US lawmakers. House When foreign country This is seen as undermining efforts by the United States and its allies to punish Russia for war against Ukraine.

The State Department on Thursday called the administration’s call to shield the Saudi crown prince from U.S. courts over Khashoggi’s murder a “purely legal decision.”

The State Department cited what it said was a long-standing precedent. Despite its recommendation to the court, the State Department said in a document filed late Thursday that it “has no opinion on the merits of the current lawsuit and reiterates its clear condemnation of the heinous murder of Jamal Khashoggi.” said.

Saudi officials killed Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. His body has never been found, but it is believed that they dismembered him.of US Intelligence Concludes Saudi Crown Prince Approved Killing He is a widely known and respected journalist who has written critically of Prince Mohammed’s harsh ways of silencing those he sees as rivals and critics.

A statement by the Biden administration on Thursday referred to visa restrictions and other penalties it gave to junior Saudi officials at the time of their death.

“Since the early days of this administration, the U.S. government has expressed grave concerns about the responsibility of Saudi agents for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi,” the State Department said. That statement made no mention of the crown prince’s own alleged role.

Biden, as a candidate, has vowed to create an “outcast” from the Saudi ruler over the 2018 killing of Khashoggi.

“I think it was total murder,” Biden said at a CNN town hall in 2019 as a candidate. and that there should be consequences associated with how we deal with them — that power.”

But Biden as president has sought to ease tensions with the kingdom. hit the fist Prince Mohammed and July trip to the kingdomthe US is working to persuade Saudi Arabia to undo a series of oil production cuts.

Khashoggi’s fiancé Hatice Cengiz and DAWN sued the prince, his chief of staff, and others appeared in Washington federal court over their alleged role in Khashoggi’s murder. Saudi Arabia insists the crown prince was never directly involved in the killing.

“MBS escapes accountability when President Biden promises the American people that he will do everything in his power to hold him accountable,” DAWN head Sarah Lee Whitson said in a statement. It’s ironic that President Biden single-handedly assured that he could.” Short for pudding.

In February 2021, Biden denied that the US government would punish Prince Mohammed himself for the murder of Washington-area resident Khashoggi. Biden argued that there was no precedent for the United States to oppose a strategic partner’s leader after authorizing the release of a declassified version of the intelligence agency’s findings into Prince Mohammed’s role in the murder.

The U.S. military has long protected Saudi Arabia from foreign enemies in exchange for Saudi Arabia maintaining the world oil market.

“Today’s move by the Biden administration cannot be read as anything more than a surrender to Saudi pressure tactics.

A federal judge in Washington had until midnight Thursday for the U.S. government to issue an opinion on the Crown Prince’s lawyers’ claim that Prince Mohammed’s high public service status was legally exempted in the case. .

The Biden administration also had the option of not commenting either way.

Sovereign immunity is a concept rooted in international law that holds that states and their officials are protected from legal proceedings in the domestic courts of other foreign countries.

The State Department said it would support the concept of “sovereign immunity” so that American leaders would not have to worry about being taken to foreign courts to face lawsuits in other countries.

Human rights advocates have argued that a Biden administration would encourage authoritarian leaders around the world, including Crown Prince Mohammed, to violate more rights.

Crown Prince Mohammed has replaced his aging father, King Salman, as the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia. The Saudi king also temporarily transferred the title of prime minister (a title usually held by Saudi kings) to Crown Prince Mohammed in September. Critics called it a bid to strengthen Muhammad’s claim of immunity.

https://www.npr.org/2022/11/18/1137603900/the-u-s-moves-to-shield-saudi-crown-prince-in-journalist-killing US move to protect Saudi crown prince in journalist murder: NPR

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