As Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is about to arrive in Argentina for the upcoming G-20 Summit, a US-based human rights NGO Monday filed a request before Buenos Aires Federal Judge Ariel Lijo that the Universal Justice criteria be applied to him as intellectual author of the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey, October 2 last, and for crimes against humanity in Yemen.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) submitted a 14-page document which does not call for the prince's arrest but merely points out that ”the Argentine Constitution recognizes universal jurisdiction over war crimes and torture (meaning) the country's judiciary is entitled to investigate and judge these crimes, regardless of where committed and the nationalities of the authors or victims, Infobae reported.
The case is now in the hands of prosecutor Ramiro González to decide whther to open a criminal investigation.
The document, signed by Kenneth Roth on behalf of HRW, states that the Crown Prince's participation at the G-20 Summit in Buenos Aires could allow the abused who are unable to find justice in Yemen or Saudi Arabia to get it in the Argentine courts.
HRW also pointed out this case is similar to what was done abroad against Argentine military officers for their crimes during the Junta years or by Argentine Federal Judge María Servini de Cubría against members of Francisco Franco's régime in Spain.
The NGO also underlined it would be worth considering the torture and abuse inflicted by authorities on Saudi women, including electric shock spanking in thighs and sexual assault.”
The Unites States' Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been said to have audio evidence which would prove Mohammed bin Salman's in the killing of Khashoggi, while Saudi authorities went as far as to only admitting they tried to persuade him to fly back to their country. Khashoggi was a Saudi national living in Washington DC, who had travelled to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, to obtain the documents he needed to get married when he was approached by a team flown in for the occasion and he ended up tortured, killed, dismembered and dissolved in acid.
Saudi Arabia has repeatedly denied the prince had any involvement in the events.
With regards to Yemen, HRW stated that there is ample evidence that the coalition led Saudi Arabia has undertaken a military campaign in Yemen from March 2015 which is responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law including indiscriminate air strikes [that hit] civilians [also using] banned ammunition against homes, markets, hospitals, schools and mosques.
The petition also stressed that about 650 people have died in Yemen and 2000 more have been wounded, according to the United Nations.
(MercoPress - Buenos Aires)