tv Brookings Institution Discussion on the Death of Jamal Khashoggi CSPAN July 2, 2019 10:00pm-11:17pm EDT
back to rhetoric, "we have these politicians saying this, that's why someone hates immigrants, muslims, that's why he attacked the mosque." i think rhetoric is an important piece. if that is the case, a billion under this billion dollar industry build on young men talking about guns, is that rhetoric not relative to this country? >> watch book tv all we can on c-span2. of the report on the death of washington post journalist jamal khashoggi in october of last year. the report concluded his killing constituted an after judicial killing per which the state of the kingdom of saudi arabia is responsible. from the brookings institution, this is one hour and 15 minutes.
>> thank you for joining us both here in washington and on c-span. of middle eastr policy here at the brookings institution. on behalf of the center of the brookings institution, i want to welcome you. we have a special event. we have a full house. this is not the first event in washington on this general topic. i think it's a fair question to ask why. why are we still on the murder of one individual? that's a topic that will come up in our discussion today, of course. two points are worth pointing out. first, brookings has a quaint notion that facts matter.
we still believe that. it's controversial, but we do. we also think norms might matter or should matter. that is more open for debate on which norms and when. in that sense, i couldn't think of a better event to shed light on some of the facts of what became a very large, very important event. jamal khashoggi was known to many people in washington and was, in this building many times -- and was in this building many times. he was known to people here and abroad. his murder, in that sense, drew more attention than others attending. his murder also had implications for international law, for international norms, and for residents of the united states for american foreign policy. with that, i'm delighted we can host this event today. and, on short notice, i'm grateful for the full house. this is particularly important because we have a special guest
and we are honored to have her here with us. dr. agnes callamard who is the u.n. special reppo tour on exit -- extrajudicial summary. thank you so much for joining us, doctor. she's a citizen of france and has a distinguished career in human rights, in the united nations, and in academia. she's is the director of the columbia university global freedom of expression, an initiative seeking international and national norms and to define and protect freedom of expressio and inter-connected global community. she worked as advisor to the president of the university. she previously had many years and civil organizations dealing with civil rights and freedom of expression. she was director of article 19, a national human rights organization promoting human expression. she found an led humanitarian
accountability partnership. and she formally works in amnesty international as well, very important roles. in her role as special reppo tour, we discuss what is happening. we are delighted to have her and look forward to her comments. i'm also joined by 2 friends and colleagues. discussion will be jamar clark this. she's done a lot of work on democracy promotion. -- she's alsoary
written on this topic exactly on the question of u.s. army relations and u.s. relations with middle east powers broadly. we are also joined by my former boss, a nonresident senior fellow with us and formally the -- foreign policy program and formally the acting vice president of our program. he's the chief engagement officer at world justice projects in washington. from april 2008 to 19, he was a senior fellow with us, and the inaugural fellow of our robert dos foundation fellowship in berlin. he previously worked in the white house and pentagon. brookings worked on a wide variety of issues relating to human rights, diplomacy, and rise of democracy. he's the author of five rising democracies in the state of international liberal order, which i highly recommend as well.
without further ado, i would like to invite dr. agnes callamard to the stage. [applause] dr. callamard: good afternoon. thank you for the kind words and introduction. it's a pleasure for me to be here today. and, to share with you, quickly, some of the findings and conclusions related to my investigation, and then i hope we can have a conversation. i think you have, over the last week, been bombarded with information about the killing of mr. khashoggi and what have pursued and i think it's important to highlight a few
dimensions of it. the killing of mr. khashoggi was an extraordinary event. unfortunately, a fairly common event. it's common because many journalists and human rights defenders around the world are the object of targets of killings, intentional killings. indeed there's enough evidence to highlight the fact that those killings are not decreasing, but are increasing, in spite of many efforts to stop them. there is also evidence that those killings are usually met with impunity. it is also an extraordinary killing because of the nature and circumstances of the execution of mr. khashoggi. it's a brazen act and an active
state. my investigation sought to determine whether or not ash to -- to determine whether or not they are aware of states or sponsor before the killing. -- to determine whether or not they were aware of states or sponsor before the killing. as you know, the state of saudi arabia, as put forward, the theory that the killing was conducted by rogue officials, and therefore, they have done everything they had to do to respond to the killing. i took their theory seriously, and to heart. i looked at the evidence at my disposal in terms of the
commission of the crime, in terms of the investigation of the crime, and in terms of the prosecution of the crime. my only -- the only conclusion i could reach with the evidence is that the state of saudi arabia is responsible for the killing. there's a great deal of international standard and prudence on what it means for a state to be responsible for a violation, including a killing. i did not come up with my own theory in terms of distinguishing between a rogue act and a state act. i relied extensively on what had been done and written, including by the international law commission. basically, the definition of a state act is an act conducted by state officials using states means and resources. the killing of mr. khashoggi met
all of the characteristics of a state killing. it was done by 15 representatives of the state, all of whom, with one exception, worked for the state security agencies. it was planned, at least 48 hours, and probably earlier than that. it was planned from riyadh. the killing itself was premeditated at least 24 hours before the killing, according to various information i was able to gather. the state representatives, state agents that conducted the execution, 15 of them did that by doing means of states means. eight of them traveled using a private jet with diplomatic clearance. two of them used a diplomatic passport.
the killing took place in a consulate. the consulate itself used its power to ensure there were no witnesses on the floor where the killing took place. after the killing, someone had planned to behave as if it was also --d show the that mr. show be that also required identification. all of the dimensions of the execution of the crime meet the definition of a state killing. state agents, state means, state resources. there was nothing private. there was nothing personal about the execution of the crime. that is for the execution. in addition to that, i also looked at the investigation and prosecution. under international human rights law, failure to investigate effectively and promptly in good
faith, there are number of other standards, a killing amounts to a violation of the right to life. i did consider the steps taken by saudi arabia to investigate the killing of mr. khashoggi. i found out that they had a team of 17 people that arrived in turkey on the sixth of october and remained in turkey until past the 15th. during that period, they were in the crime scene on their own, without any witnesses and without the turkish investigators. there's enough evidence to conclude that, while they may have investigated what happened there, they also took the opportunity of their presence in the crime scene, to clean it. making it impossible for the turkish investigators finally granted access on the 15th and
on the 17th together any kind of material evidence related to the killing. in addition to that, the turkish investigators were only granted six hours in the crime scene itself, which was the consulate. and, a few more hours in the residence two days later. they also had to investigate all of the cause. the investigation, in my opinion, and based on international standards related to what an investigation should look like, based on those standards, there is no way i can conclude the investigation conducted by saudi arabia was done effectively, done good faith, and allowed for international cooperation. that investigation could only
have been -- the type of investigation could only have been conducted and given the public statements made at the time. that investigation was done with the saudi government authority behind it. they are the link between the investigation and state is direct. therefore, reinforcing the notion the execution of the killing and what happened afterwards is a state act. when i looked at the prosecution of the crimes, what i did find was, also, iran shows weakness of limitations and abuses as for international human rights law. just to give you a few examples, the prosecutor identified, and one of his statements, a range of people responsible for the killing. he even named one of them as
having incited the team before he left, having told them bring back mr. khashoggi, a national threat. that individual has not been charged and is not part of the 11 people on trial. as you know, the trial is held behind closed doors. the saudi authorities are continuing to hide behind the charades that this is a domestic matter, even though everything about the killing of mr. khashoggi makes it an international crime. the killing itself is a violation of international human rights law and the circumstances of the killings mean saudi arabia violated the vienna convention on consumer relations, and the u.n. charter
related to the use of force extraterritorially for peace. -- at times of peace. this also amounted to an active -- act of torture, which is granted on the treaty and constituted and enforced his thatrance to the extent the remains of his body have not been located. everything about the killing of mr. khashoggi makes it an international crime, which should attract international attention, scrutiny, and in my international and investigation and universal jurisdiction. these are the findings of the trial of the killing of mr. khashoggi. an international crime, a brazen act, a state crime for which the state is responsible. once we have determined state responsibilities, the next step
should be, what does that mean? who is responsible for the killing? as i put in my reports, my inquiry is on international human rights law, which means focusing quite largely on the responsibilities of the state. however, i did look at the evidence to determine what should be the logical next step. the logical next step for me is to identify individual liability in relationship to the killing, particularly within the chain of command. the 11 people on trial at the moment are at the lowest level. yes, five of them were in the room at the time of the killing, so they are responsible for the killing, but the trial has failed, and is failing so far, to tackle the chain of command, which, in a very centralized
state as that of saudi arabia, does require to look at the fairly high level, in my opinion. in the report, i highlight some of the evidence at my disposal, which indicates more work needs to be done to investigate the liability of the crown prince and of his advisor. it is a case of the advisor, the prosecutor himself has already admitted his responsibility for the crime. it is a crime under international law, yet he is not being charged. there is much more that can be done, with regard to individual liability and the criminal process. i concluded i'm not convinced that judicial accountability
will be easy to find. particularly in saudi arabia. i don't believe this can be done without turkey either. i'm hoping there are some steps taken in the united states, and a range of difficulties, in terms of asserting jurisdiction. i will not want the search for justice for jamal khashoggi to be held hostage of the boundaries of legal processes in saudi arabia. i think it's important to identify other options for judicial accountability and prosecution, but as well for different forms of accountability, political, diplomatic, strategy, a number of them. these have been the object of the recommendations in my
report, along with some of the analysis. in conclusion, i think one political issue that is clear to me is that the response to the killing of mr. khashoggi cannot be to hide behind a process in saudi arabia that is so imperfect. that is the first thing. second, we cannot hide behind the notion that this is a domestic issue in saudi arabia. absolutely not. it's a crime that calls on the international community to denounce, but also act. it's a crime for which the united states, in particular, should have a particular interest in solving and of -- a particular interest in the accountability process.
one of the reasons i'm coming to washington is to hope to speak and identify with various factors how far the united states can go, what it should do to ensure the killing of mr. khashoggi, a u.s. resident and employee, journalist for the inhington post, therefore many ways, the symbol for a very deep seated value in the u.s. that that killing doesn't go unpunished. thank you very much. [applause]
>> thank you all for being here. as you heard, it is senior fellow in the policy program. thank you so much for those specific and comprehensive opening remarks and for the painstaking and thoughtful work that went into this report, which is generating conversation not only around the specifics of this case, but also, as you noted, what this case means for state responsibility, for human rights violations, the balance or tension between individual accountability and state accountability, and what responsibility other actors in the international system have to ensure accountability and, importantly, as you said in your report, the responsibility to prevent a recurrence.
as you noted at the outset of your remarks, the targeting of journalists, political dissidents, is all too common. i have to begin by asking whether you have discussed your report and recommendations with the secretary-general at all. dr. callamard: no. i actually tried -- it was in geneva when i was there last week. it was very difficult to have a conversation. i am planning to do so, however. >> wonderful. have you spoken with the high commissioner for human rights? dr. callamard: yes. >> in that conversation, understanding your role is under the u.n. human rights council, a subject we will come to in this discussion, the high commissioner also has an essential role to play. what do you and she see as the
next steps within the u.n.? dr. callamard: you mean the high commissioner? i think you will have to ask her. i wouldn't want to put words in her mouth. she did express support for the findings and for the follow-up on accountability, so yeah. tamara: thank you. do you think you have allies within the u.n. system to pursue additional steps at the u.n., which is of course one channel for pursuing international accountability? dr. callamard: that is an interesting question. [laughter] dr. callamard: look, i think the u.n. has been paralyzed a bit in terms of how to tackle such an
issue. i think the secretary-general, the security counsel, the human rights counsel have been -- have had some difficulty attacking a crime that is linked to such influential actors as saudi arabia, that has been at the eve -- as i was presenting my report, there were words of war with iran. it is all extraordinarily difficult. i think that is not helping solving truth and justice for the killing of mr. khashoggi. i think there are allies within the member states and allies within the individuals working
for the united nations. when it comes to decision-making bodies, we have to keep pushing. tamara: thank you. i think as i reflect on the weeks and months since jamaal's murder -- jamal's murder, one of the features that has made it so tricky for investigators, but for all of us, to understand what happened and to understand the role played by different actors is the context of regional politics. this murder took place in the midst of rivalries and disagreements within the region, including between turkey and saudi arabia. in the immediate aftermath of jamal's disappearance, we saw leaking to the media, selective release of information, particularly by the turkish government, you know, and those are -- there are those that would argue that that muddy the waters for an investigation like yours.
my understanding is that, as you went about this work, you had some cooperation from both governments, the turkish and saudi government. i will let you describe precisely. but also, that the turks did not provide you with all of the audiotapes they had available. they didn't provide you with all of the evidence they had available. would you talk about how you navigated those relationships? dr. callamard: the investigation into the killing of mr. khashoggi was a complex one because of the political environment, because of the geo strategic upheaval taking place as i was proceeding with my inquiry, but also because of the nature of the evidence since -- that was available. all of which was based on intelligence, rather than on
what you would expect to find, in terms of evidence. intelligence is very distinct from criminal evidence. it is like water. you seem to hold it, and then it goes away. it's not as tangible, and it is difficult to challenge it properly, so i am highlighting those limitations in my report. a great deal of the informations available regarding the execution of the killing itself, those very important two days are based on intelligence and recordings, which i could not authenticate, meaning the turkish government did not give me copies, and that is quite understandable because copies of such recordings give you access
to metadata, which allows you, if you are so inclined, to find the sources and methods. that couldn't be done. i was allowed to listen to the recording in the office of the intelligence of turkey. but only so much of the recording. what the rest of the recordings may say about the killing, whether they might not have anything to say about the killings, that are very important questions. i hope the turkish investigators, eventually, will make those remaining recordings public. i found different ways of to triangulate the information provided in the recording to either cctvs or other information i could gather. experts whoo other
would listen to the recordings, therefore i can get the sense how it happened. how they interpreted the recording. they are not straightforward. there are a lot of things. it is important to recognize that the killing of mr. khashoggi is complex from an evidentiary area standpoint, but not impossible. a fair amount of support from the turkish authorities. they gave me more than just recordings. e audiofrom when -- hav from one they searched the crime seems. -- when they searched the crime scenes. notsaudi authorities did
cooperate at all. did they not -- they did not respond to my official letters, did not respond to my request to meet with a saudi prosecutor. there was no cooperation whatsoever. >> they communicated with the vital signs the report was issued -- with you at all since the report was issued? dr. callamard: they have done those public statements, critiquing the work i have done, but they remain very general. theydid not suggest, or did not present a particular aspect of my conclusion that they thought was unfounded. they were at a very general level. basically,script, that all governments that do not
like to be criticized by the u biased, theshe is methodology is flawed. every time a government does not like your work, that is what they did. ted, i want to bring you into this conversation and ask you to go to this issue of state responsibility as opposed to the responsibility of individuals. a tension in of international human rights law. we develop individual accountability to ensure individuals knew they weren't be andhey would be culpable give incentives for individuals to refuse orders. we see this focus on individual accountability has maybe
diverted our attention from state responsibility. dr. callamard has done in her report, i have read in my1 pages, and research at brookings, this is one of the most comprehensive and sober reports i have ever read on such a difficult and complex subject. in nonow -- i am doubt that what you are hearing today comes from something much richer in content. the stateto the case, responsibility, the saudi arabian kingdom in particular does raise number of challenges. the fact that turkey is involved only complicates matters. the fact that you drew on so
many issues of international law, to be free from torture and not to be disappeared, number one, but all of the violations int took place by the state terms of the vienna convention and the extraterritorial use of force. calls for an extraordinary type of treatment for this case. i worked on another book in which i spent some years just special you when rapporteur -- u.n. rapporteurs work. this in ao put context that is important. this mandate on special rapporteur for judicial
executions was created in 1982. this is a standing mandate that the member states of the human rights council have created because they know they need an independent voice to be their eyes and ears. there are many other mandates they have created. it is fashionable in some circles in washington to discuss the human rights council and its tools. they say it is useless, a shield for dictators, it is anti-israel, but your investigation proves all three categories are run. -- are wrong. this is a case involving a powerful middle eastern state and goes to the heart about what is useful in this system. .n. systeme in the u stood up to fill this axiom of vacuumgating an -- this
of investigating an international crime. rapporteurs are able to do this. they have the mandate of the special counsel, then they can choose which priorities, which countries. by the way, not a lot of resources. a cost-effective interest -- instrument. this particular day job has been done very professionally. i want to follow up on this question of other forms of accountability. weu made a remark that you should focus on one judicial mechanism. when it comes to the united states, i am struck by the to this in the response merger and the response to the
skripal poisoning. abroad, state going using diplomatic resources to target a dissident on the soil of another country who was there under that country's protection. the united states and dozen or so other countries expelled russian diplomat's and -- diplomats and said if you will affair one vienna this matter, we will constrain your authority. is there something about this case that makes it particularly different from the perspective a a simplerty, or is it difference between the relationship between the u.s. and russia and the u.s. and saudi arabia? probably a more difficult question for you to answer. the human rights agenda at the international level has been
very politicized and a matter of power politics. you can easily see it through that lens in this particular case. i don't think that is a surprise. that does make the work of a special rapporteur for challenging, but not impossible. -- more challenging, but not impossible. if you think about the commission of inquiry on human rights in north korea, that broke new ground by bringing that case all the way to the security council. even the chinese did not step in the way of making sure that human rights was put on the agenda of the u.n. security council as a matter of international peace. the precedent has been set. you have to argue whether this is another case, where, because
of its scope and exceptional nature, it needs to be brought at a higher level in the u.n. system. add, themard: if i may killing occurred october 2. since then, many governments linked with saudi arabia at the head have attempted to bury it, or say let's move on. in january at the economic demos saudig, -- davos meeting, arabia was "welcomed back" in the meeting, with the notion we can now move on. that killing is not going to disappear. my report came now, there will be more coming up afterwards.
the idea of representative government, that if we hold on long enough it will go away, i doubt it is going to happen. with this particular issue, it is not going to happen. journalists are after it. actors are after it. the fiancee of mr. khashoggi is after it. she is not going to give up. it is not going to go away. that is the first thing. the second thing i want to highlight is in my opinion, the killing of mr. khashoggi and more violations by saudi arabia course forus, of the victims, but they highlight sharply the democratic deficit within our own countries. there is a huge gap between what the public is generally asking and what the elected
representativess are -- representatives are ready to do on that particular country. there is a very big gap, which is recognized by some state representatives, but not by everybody. therefore, finding ways of reducing that gap is particularly important for us here in this room and abroad. it is really a matter of the values of democracy and how to isure that because a state so powerful, it can claim impunity for an international crime -- it really matters that we don't allow that message to become normalized. it has not been normalized for russia. it should not be normalized for
saudi arabia. whatever idiosyncrasies are tolerated in the past when it comes to that particular country, i think it is really up think, the electorate, electede that our representatives do stick to the script of global governance and minimum respect for human rights. we cannot tolerate that democratic deficit to become the norm. ted: i would love to jump in on this point. the issue of accountability, the opposite being impunity, is the heart of the matter here. i like how your afford -- your report reflecting on this. it is not just who ordered it, who did the act, but who was in
the chain of command and who failed to act? that being one step. we can look at criminal accountability, but we have to look at diplomatic forms and financial forms of accountability to make sure this does not go unpunished, given what we know. i was wondering can you elaborate on what those measures could be and which ones you see as most feasible. dr. callamard: yes, i really think that that narrative around the killing cannot be a narrative of defeat. to me, that is extremely important, particularly in this day and age. and it is not a narrative of defeat, yet some individuals have not been held to account. the issue is still on the global
agenda. it keeps bothering business and andl -- business as usual people holding power, and i'm not only talking about the white house, but other countries who would want to move on. we need to really ensure that the notion of justice and accountability takes many different forms and many different colors. political accountability, diplomatic accountability, you mentioned the fact that after the russian dissident was killed using chemicals means in the u.k., there was a big diplomatic response. we have not seen that yet when .t comes to mr. khashoggi are we have seen individualized targeted
sanctions. there has not been a determination to hold the state of saudi arabia to account, and to me, this is something we must absolutely insist upon. this is not only about individuals, it's about the state that has committed a state crime and so far, the western government that has adopted individualized targeted sanctions, which by the way are selling the rogue fury in so doing. by so doing so it's important to insist on what we do vis-a-vis the state of saudi arabia, not 17 individuals. that has not been done. i'm not necessarily calling for state sanctions, except on one issue which is technology. i did not feel it was my mandate and these are difficult topics. state sanctions can have very detrimental impact on the little people of the country.
when it comes to technology, that i believe, there should be a moratorium on the sale of surveillance technology to saudi arabia, because time and time again, that country has demonstrated that it cannot be trusted in terms of how it's using that particular technology. that's just one example. i have now realized that next year, the g20 will be taking place in saudi arabia. the political accountability for mr. khashoggi means it should not happen or it's held elsewhere or something is being done to ensure that the political system in the u.s. and in other countries does not become complicit of that international crime and the narrative that saudi arabia is
trying to sell fairly effectively in some quarters that it has taken the right steps to respond to it. tamara: thank you and i want to emphasize a point that is brought out in your report very well, that jamal's murder took place in the context of saudi policy, of other governmental abuses of human rights inside the kingdom. and that when one thinks about prevention, whether it's the saudi government's responsibility to prevent the murder of someone like jamal khashoggi, but also the international community's interest in preventing a recurrence of such events, there is a relevance of what else a government is doing. as we sit here, the trial of the women activists who were arrested for peaceful advocacy is ongoing in the kingdom.
there are a number of others in prison for peaceful and political dissent. as you noted in the trial of those accused of jamal's murder, saudi these standards of -- judicial system is not meeting these standards of fairness for the rights of those accused. it strikes me that in addition to the point you made about democratic values and freedom of expression and the responsibility and interest that other state government's have there. there is also a broader interest or an interest in looking more broadly at human rights, at this particularly brutal, particularly public killing in the context of the broader human rights behavior of a government. as we talk about accountability
and you mentioned the g20 as one example of an opportunity, let's say, for international accountability, it also strikes me that part of what has happened here in washington is that this is a very important relationship between the united states and saudi arabia, but it is one between two countries with very different systems, very different values. and part of what i have observed in the concerns raised by americans elected officials on capitol hill, for example, in the wake of jamal's murder, is what does this say about the reliability of our partner? what does it say about our ability to work with this partner at a government to government level? it strikes me that there is an interest for saudi arabia in
understanding the cost of this act and the cost of a failure to take responsibility for this act in terms of its ability to sustain its other international relationships, even if they are on entirely different issues. i wonder if you would comment. ted: what comes to mind is the re-examination that's underway in washington about our relationship with china. it's not at the same level of friendship in the first place, but very comprehensive after many years of building up all kinds of dialogue and cooperation. we are going through a retrenchment. i have looked closely at china's role -- here's a system that is so different from ours. do we share values on human rights? if you look specifically at the chinese behavior at the human
rights council, there has been a bit of a sea change where they have gone from playing defense to offense. i don't know if you have seen this, but we have seen that the chinese are pushing against the whole way that the human rights system works. the ability of special specialurs to do investigations is under attack and china is leading the attack. saudi arabia has been there for a long time. are these are friends or allies? i think we have to be much smarter about how we condition our relationships and if we are serious about human rights, we have to put it higher on the level of priority. tamara: do you think it makes a difference to the u.s. response to this murder that the united states is not itself engaged anymore at the human rights council? it's not part of these conversations. [laughter] dr. callamard: i'm not sure.
there is a lack of leadership at the moment at the human rights council and for a while, the u.s. was quite an important actor and a deep leader on difficult issues within the human rights council, president obama in particular. there is a gap and a lack of leadership. people are waiting as they are all looking at each other over the khashoggi investigation. i could feel it during what we call the interactive dialogue after i presented my report. there are two or three hours where the states make their statement, two minutes each. i was told the day before that everyone was waiting to see what the others were going to do in order to determine how far they can go on their statement.
there is no leadership at the moment. people are just not sure what they can do. my reading of the interactive dialogue -- and i don't know if you listen to it, the time was not very good for the u.s., but it was interesting to see how little support there were for saudi arabia. maybe up to eight countries made public statements, voicing their critique and rejection of the report and their support for saudi arabia's ongoing process, probably eight. then there were a number of countries that were middle-of-the-road. even those countries, you would have expected them to actually be more supportive of saudi arabia.
i'm not going to name any countries, but i will invite you to consult the statements. then there was quite a lot of countries, the majority, that voiced their support for the report and some of the follow-up, including countries you would not have necessarily expected. when it came to the human rights council, there was something that happened there which i cannot quite yet fully analyze, which i'm sure others will in the near future. when i say support for the report, it does not mean a broad statement and a broad step toward holding saudi arabia and its leaders accountable. no, it was public support, but
yet, not quite to the point where i would've liked them to be. it was not a sea change, but it was certainly a very positive step taken by the vast majority of people who took a stand. based on my conversation with some of the countries that i thought would support saudi arabia and did not, i know that they were criticized by saudi arabia afterwards, but yet, they took a principled stand. something happened during that session, which if anyone is interested in analyzing those dynamics, i think it's worth looking at it and trying to understand the reconfiguration that has happened. and i hope the u.s. congress and senate who have been quite courageous in challenging the
white house and trying to ensure that those key principles, human rights protections, war crimes and so on, are drivers for foreign policy. i think those individuals in the senate and congress should take, not pleasure, but encouragement. real encouragement for what happened at the human rights council. tamara: thank you, i will open up to questions from the floor. we have about 15 minutes and i will try to get to as many of you as i can. i will ask you to wait for the microphone. identify yourself and ask one single, concise question and let's start with shane harris in the middle. >> i am a reporter with "the
washington post." i was part of the team that investigated jamal's murder and thank you for the work you have done and being here to discuss it today. since he was killed, we have seen a number of reports from other saudi activists living overseas citing what they say is credible threats that have been delivered by state intelligence services and security services, nothing to indicate a level of threat we saw against jamal, but nevertheless concerning. did you find anything in your investigations about other threats to activists and journalists living overseas and do you think it's possible given the relative lack of consequence corresponds to the saudi government -- or response to the saudi government for this crime that they could perpetrate something like this again against other activists? dr. callamard: thank you very much.
investigate that particular issue quite a lot. i wanted to see whether the killing of mr. khashoggi fit within a pattern by saudi arabia itself. i could not find more than what was already in the public domain, which is there had been a few killings and disappearances and abductions. when it comes to threats, i think there's absolutely no doubt, based on my interviews that most saudis living abroad who are in exile or self-imposed exile feel that there is risk attached to their well-being.
whether or not these are more specific than a few phone calls and so on, possibly not at this stage, with the exception of the one you have spoken about and others, which are the four activists won by the cia back in may. there is enough evidence i think to call for a moratorium for the surveillance technology at the moment, for sure. tamara: thank you. here, please come in the front? >> thank you, history is filled with examples of states sponsored covert actions, assassinated, people begin orcided -- being suicided
terrorism. does the united nations investigate or what international law would be applicable to prevent states from entering into covert actions? as a reference, the domain and the recent book by david martin. ultimately, the question is, what prevents states from simply doing things just more covertly? tamara: in a way, it was the brazenness of this crime that attracted attention and created the support that enabled you to do this investigation. dr. callamard: i have not elaborated on other forms of covert actions. in any case, i was mostly focused on killings. i did find over the last five 15 such killings
that could be attributed to the state. i did not investigate them, so i could not really talk about them. covert actions do, of course happen. yes, they are in violation of international law, the variety of international -- not only human rights law, but others. does the u.n. investigate them? i think the u.n. has denounced them on a number of occasions. , and the denounced security council has taken a position against a killing of a palestinian activist in tunisia, which was one of the only times the security council took a position for one single killing. the united nations has denounced
other killings, although not to the level of the security council. there is also plenty of evidence of the police in a number of states taking action to protect dissidents living in exile, including turkish dissidents, iranian dissidents, saudi dissident and so on. i'm not sure i am answering your question, but if you are asking whether it violates international law, yes, it does. it can only be justified with state consent and security council authorization. tamara: thank you. e inhe island -- the aisl the white shirt? >> my name is sharon kotac and i am wondering, have you met
with any representatives of the trump administration? if so, what were their reactions to your report? thank you. dr. callamard: not yet. tamara: you haven't had meetings yet? dr. callamard: no, i met with the u.s. administration, but not anyone at the white house. tamara: yes? >> i am the senior fellow here at brookings. first, congratulations on the report. my question concerns the role of the individuals rather than the states. you have been very careful today and in other public comments you not speaking of the role of the crown prince. could you do that now? [laughter] dr. callamard: i have not, because it is not my area of
expertise and it's not my mandate. i am a human rights expert. i am not an expert in criminal law, which is what would be required. what i find command what i and what ii find, outlined in the report, it is wnrd to imagine the crow prince or someone at that level could not have known there was such an operation. it is difficult. that does not mean that i have evidence of the crown prince ordering the killing. but i think it's important to understand that the criminal investigation should not just determine, as important as it is, who has ordered directly. high level officials can be held accountable for other forms of action or inaction.
to me, that's quite important that we do not narrow down the story about the killing of mr. to who ordered, it could be who was involved directly or indirectly? who knew something was going on but failed to take action to stop it? who should have known that something was in planification to prevent it? in the case of the crown prince, two direct links to him are established in my report. first, there was a campaign of actions, violations taking place before the killing of mr. khashoggi. there is no way you can suggest
that he is not linked to that campaign. he is the head of state. those links have been denounced they have demonstrated they have not even denied it so far. these responsibilities for creating the conditions that made the killing of mr. khashoggi possible, i think it's something that must be more investigated than i have done, but certainly one possible direction. the second is investigation. that is no way that the crown prince and others at his level did not know about the botched investigation. that botched investigation followed by a very unsatisfying prosecution are a violation of the right to life. almost at the same level as the commission of the crime itself, so that is also a direct link to
the highest level of authority, including the crown prince. i didn't want the report to just focus on the crown prince. i am hoping -- your reactions show that what i'm trying to do is point the focus on the state, not on an individual at the moment. i think we really must insist that this was a state killing for which the state must be held accountable and responsible. ted: if i might add, the steps you suggest for systemic reform within the state, everything from reforming of the intelligence services to release of political prisoners and a whole set of other steps that if the kingdom was serious about trying to make amends for this
approving their human rights -- this crime, they could do a lot to start approving their human rights record and i think that is what we are talking about. that's the opportunity and tragically we are at this point that this moment offers. tamara: i recall when the abuses at abu graib took place. president george w. bush came out in public and acknowledged responsibility on behalf of the united states government. and expressed his apologies publicly. ted: which the kingdom has not done. tamara: there are many ways for a state to take responsibility. in the aisle, navy jacket? >> the state department says they have seen a copy of your report and are looking at it closely. what do you want the administration to do? tamara: the u.s. state department.
dr. callamard: in the report, i make a number of recommendations , specifically directed at the united states. the first one, i think the u.s. can play an important role in terms of truth telling and unlocking the secrecy that has been attached to the killing. there is so much linked to intelligence sources. it's externally detrimental to the search for justice. i recognize the importance of not burning sources and methodology, but i think there is more than has been done so far, including by the cia. i am recommending -- most of my recommendations are really about transparency and truth telling. it's about an fbi investigation
of thelassification information related to the killing of mr. khashoggi so that it can be main public and those can be held accountable. it could be a hearing within congress about the killing of mr. khashoggi. all of those recommendations are really about unlocking the information that is in this country at present and being locked key, or under the threat of legal action for violating a very important national security provision. that needs to be unlocked. that's what i'm recommending here. the other recommendations are the same as other member states. i already talked about looking beyond individualized sanctions. sanctioning the crown prince of the moment, there is enough
aidence to suggest he has part of responsibility for the killing, not necessarily ordering, but other responsibilities and i want to put the onus on them to demonstrate that he is not responsible. if we cannot get access to all the evidence, let them show they -- let them show he had nothing to do with it beyond some declaration. i think i reflected that in one of the initiatives within the congress at the moment. there are number of recommendations for all member states, but for the u.s. in particular, it is about truth telling and unlocking the information that a few individuals want to keep under the covers. tamara: dr. callamard, i want to thank you. i know your time is short because you have other engagements today, which i hope will prove constructive and productive.
at brookings, we believe that fact matter and it's clear that accountability begins with truth telling. i want to thank you for the care and the work you put into telling the truth of what happened to jamal khashoggi, and we wish you the best. [applause] dr. callamard: if i may just have one word, i believe it is the people in this room, or many of you at least and others that would create the template for real justice. through my many meetings with heads of state or very high level representatives, they really are very hesitant. we need to push them to take the right steps, to make the right
decisions and to say that just cannot go on in that fashion. i know there are many other crimes around the world. what the crime of mr. khashoggi has shown is the feeling of power and impunity that some countries exhibit. that needs to be crushed. that cannot be allowed. the narrative cannot be allowed to go on without any reaction. there has been plenty, but we must continue, because that is very dangerous for mr. khashoggi's accountability, but more generally, it is intolerable that governments could just use their power to justify their own impunity. because they are powerful, they must be held to account at a very high level. that needs to be the message. us who are going to bring
>> it contains our findings and analysis and the reasons for the decisions we made. we chose those words carefully and the work speaks for itself. the report is my testimony. i would not provide information beyond that which is already public in any appearance before congress. >> former special counsel robert
mueller is set to appear before two committees of congress, the house judiciary committee and the house intelligence committee wednesday, july 17 at 9:00 a.m. eastern. he will testify in open session about brunch and interference into the -- about russian interference into the 20 16th election. watch on c-span or listen on the free c-span radio app. >> on friday, labor secretary alex acosta, education secretary betsy devos, secretary of transportation elaine chao and several others addressed the faith and freedom coalition conference in washington. isn't this great that? we have three cabinet officers in the green room, and they can't wait to see you. i will welcome the first of them. alex acosta