Advocacy update

Mohammed Bin Salman’s Appointment to Saudi Prime Minister Should Not Halt Accountability, Argues the Justice Initiative

Date
September 28, 2022
Contact
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NEW YORK—In response to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s appointment as prime minister, which may grant him sovereign immunity in cases concerning the torture and killing of exiled Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the Justice Initiative calls on governments to continue holding the Saudi regime accountable for past and ongoing human rights violations.

“This is a brazen effort by the Saudi regime to shield MBS from legal accountability for Khashoggi’s murder and other atrocities,” said James A. Goldston, executive director of the Justice Initiative. “As a result, the arrest of MBS on foreign soil seems unlikely in the short-term. However, governments can still support dissidents: for example, by engaging with Saudi exiles, promoting funding for civil society initiatives in the kingdom, and ending extending blanket military support to the regime.”

The appointment coincides with the two-month anniversary of a complaint submitted by Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN) and TRIAL International, with support from the Justice Initiative, calling on French authorities to open an investigation against MBS during his visit to France. The appointment also comes as the Biden administration has been asked by a U.S. judge to weigh in on whether the crown prince should be protected by sovereign immunity by October 3, 2022, in a case brought by DAWN and Khashoggi’s fiancée, Hatice Cengiz.

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