Saudi crown prince has not been held to account

Saudi crown prince has not been held to account

The declassified US intelligence report into the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi delivered a damning assessment of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s role in the atrocity. The four-page document did not provide the “smoking gun” directly linking Prince Mohammed to the murder some had hoped for. But senior US intelligence officials concluded that he had approved an operation to “capture or kill” the journalist at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul.

There is no doubt that Riyadh’s claims that this was a rogue operation, of which the Crown Prince had no knowledge, were false. The investigation implicated senior assistants to the crown prince and members of his elite protection, in an operation which it concluded was “highly unlikely” that it took place without his permission.

The Biden administration should be applauded for releasing the report, which Donald Trump sat on as he put billion dollar arms sales ahead of human rights. But, much to the chagrin of many, Prince Mohammed remains unauthorized more more than two years after the October 2018 murder, when the whereabouts of Khashoggi’s dismembered body are still not known. In other words, the United States held him responsible, but did not hold him accountable.

The administration announced visa restrictions on 76 Saudis under what it called a “Khashoggi ban” it will use against individuals acting on behalf of governments that target journalists and activists . But the names of the Saudis have …

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