The Alleged Murder of Jamal Khashoggi: Why this case strikes such a nerve

Carla Ferstman

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Jamal Khashoggi. Photo credit: April Brady/Project on Middle East Democracy

On 2 October 2018, Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent exiled critic of the Saudi regime and journalist for the Washington Post attended the Saudi consulate in Turkey to retrieve paperwork needed for his impending marriage to Turkish national Hatice Cendiz. Ms Cendiz waited for him outside the consulate in vain; he never emerged. Weeks have now passed and Turkish authorities have drip-fed a stream of gruesome information about their investigation into Khashoggi’s disappearance and apparent murder within the confines of the embassy.

Details which have emerged include the arrival in Turkey of a team of 15 special forces officers and intelligence officials, information about Khashoggi having been tortured, killed, beheaded and dismembered with a bone saw. Apparently, some areas at the Saudi consulate where Khashoggi was last seen alive had been repainted and toxic materials had been found by police. Turkish sources have apparently alleged that the body was transported to the consul general’s house nearby and disposed of.  On 15 October, CNN reported that it had been informed by sources that the Saudis are preparing a report that will say that Khashoggi died in a botched interrogation intended to lead to his abduction from Turkey. According to reports over the last 24 hours, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has travelled to Saudi Arabia for crisis talks regarding the unfolding situation and is on route to Turkey.

Saudi Arabia is clearly no beacon for human rights. While there is no pecking order for atrocious acts of violence, it is hard to ignore Saudi Arabia’s three-year campaign of indiscriminate bombing of Yemen, devastating the civilian population and leading to mass starvation. Nor should we ignore the spate of beheadings in the country.

So why does the Khashoggi case strike such a nerve?

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Mobile phone theft and EU eprivacy law: the CJEU clarifies police powers

By Lorna Woods

This post originally appeared on EU Law Analysis, and is reproduced here with permission.


This week’s CJEU judgment in Case C-207/16 Ministerio Fiscal is part of the jurisprudence on the ePrivacy Directive, specifically Article 15 which broadly allows Member States to permit intrusions into the confidentiality of communications for certain specified reasons.  Article 15 is part of the legal framework for the mass retention of communications data from Digital Rights Ireland (Case C-293/12 and 594/12), EU:C:2014:238) (“DRI”) on and in which the Court has affirmed that retention schemes could be justified only in the case of “serious crime” (Tele2/Watson (Joined Cases C-203/15 and C-698/15), ECLI:EU:C:2016:970).  This left the question of what “serious crime” might be, and whether there would be EU law standards circumscribing the scope of this term. It is this question that the reference here seeks to address, though it should be noted that the facts in issue were very different from those in the earlier cases. Continue reading

International Human Rights News: Weekly Roundup

By Manon Clayette,  Nina Giraudel, Sweekruthi Keshavamurthy, Ayushi Kalyan


Taliban confirms talks with US peace envoy – AlJazeera

UN chided over new rights council members – BBC

Improve collection of data on disasters, Secretary-General Guterres urges on International Day for Disaster Reduction – UN News

Jordan and Syria say border to reopen on Monday – Reuters

Failure to act swiftly on climate change risks human rights violation on massive scale – Amnesty International

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International Human Rights News: Weekly Roundup

By Besir Ozbek

Each week students at the University of Essex Human Rights Centre prepare an overview of the past week’s human rights related news stories from around the world.


2018 Nobel Peace Prize Awarded to Nadia Murad and Dr. Denis Mukwege for Fighting Sexual Violence – Global Citizen

‘Endless volley of assaults’ aimed at refugees: protection chief calls for ‘humane dialogue’ – UN News

Child sexual abuse and exploitation: UN event sheds light on the unthinkable – UN News

World Habitat Day: Governments must end the brutal practice of forced evictions – Amnesty International

Marking World Space Week, UN stresses power of space to ‘unite the world’ – UN News

Global Citizen Launches Campaign to Achieve Health for All – Global Citizen

UN Experts Slam Athletics Gender Regulations– Human Rights Watch

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International Human Rights News: Weekly Roundup

By Manon Clayette,  Nina Giraudel, Sweekruthi Keshavamurthy, Ayushi Kalyan


Chronic illnesses: UN stands up to stop 41 million avoidable deaths per year – UN News

UNGA meeting spotlights the ‘press behind bars’, as experts denounce record number of jailed journalists – UN News (To watch the whole meeting, click here)

World ‘Nowhere Near’ Reaching Climate Change Target: UN Report – Global Citizen

World Bank Group Commits $1 Billion for Battery Storage to Ramp Up Renewable Energy Globally – The World Bank

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