Callamard: First, it demands full truth-telling. I have done a bit of it in my report, but there is far more out there. And it’s not only in Saudi Arabia … Turkey must release all the remaining information that they have: recordings relevant to the killing, any kind of scientific evidence that they still hold, and so on. The U.S. must share its own intelligence on the killing of Mr. Khashoggi. So truth-telling from all sides is first what justice for Mr. Khashoggi looks like.
Second, those who are responsible must be held to account in a court of law. That includes people who perpetrated the crime and the person who ordered the crime, and it includes the people within the states who directly or indirectly allowed for the crime to be perpetrated. That means people at the highest level of the state that may have incited the crime, that may have known of the crime but failed to prevent it, that may have known of the crime but failed to respond to it. And that includes people who, once the crime occurred, gave their green light to a botched investigation, which is exactly what happened in the case of Jamal Khashoggi’s investigation. That person, too, should be held to account. That could be the crown prince. That could be someone else. All I’m saying is, the accountability for the crime is going to take many forms and many shapes, and at the moment, we are way away from that.
Justice also means political, financial, [and] symbolic responses. The crime took place in a consulate. It violated the Vienna Convention. Surely, the international community could somehow punish Saudi Arabia for its misuse of its consulate by doing something around the multitude of consular relations with Saudi Arabia.
Symbolically, I think there is a lot more than can be done. Creating special funds for the protection of press freedom in the Gulf in the name of Jamal Khashoggi. I suggested during the Davos meeting … that there is a session named after Jamal Khashoggi … There is symbolically a lot that can be done, which has not been done yet. That’s what justice will look like.
Serhan: Is there anything I didn’t ask you that I should have?
Callamard: What is important to keep in mind and to remember is the fact that, in my view, the killing of Jamal Khashoggi and the absence of strong response to the killing and to the other violations by Saudi Arabia has created a democratic crisis and certainly, at a minimum, a democratic deficit within our own countries.
In the vast majority of Western countries, there is a demand for Saudi Arabia to be held accountable. People are angry and people are clamoring for justice … I think the public opinion in our countries is absolutely spot-on and committed to have justice for the women activists, for the journalists, for Jamal Khashoggi, and hopefully for the people of Yemen.
A court in the U.K. has said, We don’t want you to sell arms. The Senate in the U.S. said, We don’t want to sell arms to Saudi Arabia … What are the [governments] … doing in response to the public, in response to the court, in response to the Congress? Nothing.
Holding that partner to account for all of that is more likely to make it a more reliable partner, and if it doesn’t, well frankly it means that maybe we should look for partners elsewhere.