The European Parliament (EP) has implemented several measures on issues connected to Saudi Arabia, including a resolution condemning “in the strongest possible terms” the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, EP’s Subcommittee on Human Rights Chair Antonio Panzeri has said.
“Recently we approved a resolution raising the need to free those who have been held by Saudi Arabia such as women activists without a case,” he told a press conference during the international conference on ‘National, regional and international mechanisms to combat impunity and ensure accountability under international law’.
The EP resolution also urged the “Saudi authorities to disclose the whereabouts of his (Khashoggi) remains; recalls that the systematic practice of enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings constitutes a crime against humanity.”
Panzeri was answering a question on the efforts of EP to pressure the Saudis to free several Arabs who are still detained in their country without any prosecution.
He underscored the power of public opinion in the international level in demanding states to act on such resolutions and in ensuring these crimes be stopped, which can be facilitated by the activities of the parliament like EP.
“We have to consider all these aspects if we want these mechanism to be implemented in the right way,” Panzeri stressed.
About the sale of arms to violators, he said EP called on European countries in October 2018 to stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia following the brutal killing of Khashoggi.
EP also asked for “an impartial, international investigation into his death” to find out what actually happened inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, and for those responsible to be brought to justice.”
“In the EU level we approved a resolution, which we are not sure if they will put it in place, but we are asking the states not to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia and this was a very important step,” Panzeri noted.
We need to stress and keep walking on this path, and by doing this we can make sure that progress will go on that way,” he added.
Panzeri cited the partnership between Qatar’s National Human Rights Committee and EP, which started a year ago, aimed at launching an initiative to combat impunity.
“This conference is one of the results of this cooperation,” he said, stressing that critical points have been raised and the need to act on a large scale. “If we want to keep fighting impunity and human rights violations, we need to first to sustain this mechanism and ensure accountability, as well as other elements.”
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