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  • Fiancee of slain Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi meets with members of European Parliament to discuss human rights abuses in the Gulf Cooperation Council states.

    Fiancee of slain Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi meets with members of European Parliament to discuss human rights abuses in the Gulf Cooperation Council states. | Photo: Reuters

Published 21 February 2019

"I'm here not only as the fiancee of Jamal but also for the values he fought for, values he wanted for the people in his own country, the people of the Arab world."

Members of the European Parliament gathered in Brussels Tuesday to meet with victims of human rights abuses in the Gulf Cooperation Council states, including the fiancee of slain Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. 

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Hatice Cengiz challenged the European Union (EU) to bring those involved in the murder of Khashoggi to justice. "Up until now, nothing has been done," lamented Cengiz. "I'm here not only as the fiancee of Jamal but also for the values he fought for, values he wanted for the people in his own country, the people of the Arab world."

Despite international outrage following the killing of the well-known journalist, and critic of the Saudi Arabia, those responsible have yet to be sanctioned. Saudi Arabia refuses to extradite the accused parties to Turkey, which, in addition to the murder taking place at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, continues to strain relations between the two countries.

The individuals implicated in the crime have also denied the involvement of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. 

Khashoggi went missing on October 2 of last year after visiting the consulate to retrieve documentation necessary to marry Cengiz. According to Agnes Callamard, United Nations special rapporteur, the murder of the journalist was a "brutal and premeditated killing, planned and perpetrated by officials in the state of Saudi Arabia."

Member of European Parliament Pier Antonio Panzeri stated that the EU could not continue to "allow Saudi Arabia and its leadership to get away with too little." Some steps have been taken, such as last week's confirmation, by the European Commission, of the blacklisting of Saudi Arabian as a high-risk jurisdiction for financing terrorism and money laundering. 

However, international relations with Saudi Arabia remain complicated, as the Kingdom imported more arms than any other country in 2017, nearly a quarter of which was exported from EU nations. Panzeri also points out the discrepancy, saying "there should be coherence on the part of the EU. It can't, on one hand, ask that human rights be respected, and on the other provide weapons for the conflict in Yemen."

The double standard also permeates the United States, who was accused of assisting Saudi Arabia's impunity when President Donald Trump's Administration failed to report back on whether or not Washington would impose sanctions on those responsible for Khashoggi's murder.

Saudi Arabia was the main buyer of U.S. arms between 2013 and 2017, which addresses Congresswoman Ilhan Omar's query: "Why don't we hold Saudi Arabia to the same human rights standards as other countries?"

The question inferences the Trump Administration's insistence on taking actions against Venezuela under the guise of preventing human rights violations, for which the Saudi Kingdom has documented violations. 

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