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I have the honour to deliver this intervention on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic countries Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, and my own country, Norway.
The Nordic and Baltic countries thank you for your report and expresses our deep concern over intentional state killings of human rights defenders, journalists and prominent dissidents, including those who have sought safety abroad.
Furthermore, we have condemned, in the strongest terms possible, the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and we thank Special Rapporteur Callamard for undertaking an inquiry into his unlawful death. The report’s details surrounding the killing are difficult reading.
According to the report, the killing of Mr. Khashoggi constituted an extrajudicial killing. Extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions are abhorrent and represent a violation of the inherent right to life.
We note that the Special Rapporteur has found that the investigations conducted by Saudi Arabia failed to meet international standards. We reiterate that all investigations into the killing must be thorough, credible, transparent, and prompt, and prosecutions must uphold internationally recognized fair trial and due process norms and standards. In this regard, we are concerned about the report’s indication that trial observation has been made conditional upon agreement not to disclose the details.
Dr. Callamard, The case of Khashoggi shows how dangerous it can be to be a journalist or human rights defender. In the report, you recommend the HRC to support the establishment of a Special Procedure Task-Force to undertake rapid response missions, engage with authorities to support and ensure effective investigations. We would appreciate if you could elaborate on how this could be done and how such a taskforce could reinforce existing mechanisms i.e. special procedures, treaty-bodies and other experts.