Show an ad over header. AMP

Press watchdog sues Saudi prince for crimes against humanity in Khashoggi murder

Reporters without Borders (RSF), a global non-profit defending press freedoms, filed a criminal complaint against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and four other Saudi officials for the assassination of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi and for other crimes against journalists.

Why it matters: It's the latest organization to demand accountability from top Saudi officials following a U.S. intelligence report released last week that assessed the Saudi prince approved the 2018 operation to "capture or kill" Khashoggi, a prominent government critic.


Details: The lawsuit, filed Monday with the German Public Prosecutor General, also addresses 34 cases of journalists that have been jailed in Saudi Arabia.

  • The complaint alleges that those journalists, as well as Khashoggi, have been victims of several crimes against humanity, "including willful killing, torture, sexual violence and coercion, enforced disappearance, unlawful deprivation of physical liberty, and persecution."
  • "A crime against humanity is a widespread and systematic attack committed by individuals in full knowledge of this attack against a civilian population," RSF said in a statement.

Be smart: The group says it filed the complaint in Germany because German laws give them jurisdiction over core international crimes committed abroad, and because the courts have shown a willingness to tackle such issues.

  • "In Saudi Arabia, journalists, who are a civilian population according to international law, are victims of widespread and systematic attacks for political reasons in furtherance of a state policy aimed at punishing or silencing them. The five suspects identified in the complaint are fully responsible," RSF said.
  • German prosecutors will now decide whether to take up the case, but there's no guarantee that they will.

The big picture: The U.S. intelligence assessment has drawn scrutiny to the Biden administration, which said last week in light of the report's findings that it would not sanction the crown prince himself — worrying that doing so could threaten the country's strategic relationship with Saudi Arabia.

  • "President Biden is facing his first major test of a campaign promise and, it appears, he’s about to fail it," Washington Post Publisher and CEO Fred Ryan wrote Monday.
  • "It appears as though under the Biden administration, despots who offer momentarily strategic value to the United States might be given a 'one free murder' pass."
  • "The sad bottom line here is that when it comes to press-freedom issues, particularly internationally, there is less distance between Trump and Biden than we’d like to believe," Columbia Journalism Review columnist Jon Allsop wrote Monday.

The bottom line: The concern amongst press advocates is that in failing to take tougher action on the crown prince and his allies, the Biden administration is setting a global precedent that the U.S. will not come after other despots if they harm journalists abroad.

Corporate America begins to see fallout after wading into politics

Corporate America is finding it can get messy when it steps into politics.

Why it matters: Urged on by shareholders, employees and its own company creeds, Big Business is taking increasing stands on controversial political issues during recent months — and now it's beginning to see the fallout.

Keep reading... Show less

Church shelters call out U.S. for expelling migrants when they have capacity

Despite the separation between church and state, the federal government depends upon religious shelters to help it cope with migration at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Why it matters: The network supports the U.S. in times of crisis, but now some shelter leaders are complaining about expelling families to Mexico when they have capacity — and feel a higher calling — to accommodate them.

Keep reading... Show less

Derek Chauvin's guilty verdict in the murder of George Floyd is the rare officer conviction

Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who was shown kneeling on George Floyd's neck last year in a video that shook the nation, was found guilty of murder and manslaughter on Tuesday.

Yes, but: Eight years after the launch of the Black Lives Matter movement, it's still rare for police officersto face legal consequences or jail time over the deaths of Black people.

Keep reading... Show less

Senate confirms Lisa Monaco as Justice Department's deputy attorney general

The Senate voted 98-2 on Tuesday to confirm Lisa Monaco as deputy attorney general for the Justice Department, making her the agency's second highest-ranking official.

Why it matters: Monaco is expected to play a key role in Attorney General Merrick Garland's pledge to crack down on violence from domestic extremist groups, including the department's sweeping investigation of the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Keep reading... Show less

Minneapolis reflects on Chauvin verdict as a step toward healing and calm

A growing crowd outside the Hennepin County Government Center broke out into cheers, hugs and tears of relief as word of the Derek Chauvin verdict spread just after 4pm CST.

Catch up quick: Eleven months after George Floyd died under the former Minneapolis police officer's knee, a jury of 12 neighbors returned a guilty verdict on all three counts.

Keep reading... Show less

"Painfully earned justice has finally arrived for George Floyd’s family": Nation reacts to Chauvin verdict

America is speaking out after the jury in Derek Chauvin's trial announced its guiltyverdict after about 10 hours of deliberation.

What they're saying...

Ben Crump, Floyd family lawyer: "GUILTY! Painfully earned justice has finally arrived for George Floyd’s family ... Justice for Black America is justice for all of America!"

Keep reading... Show less

Derek Chauvin found guilty of all 3 charges in George Floyd's death

A jury on Tuesday found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in George Floyd's death.

Why it matters: This rare conviction of a police officer may come to be seen as a defining moment in America's collective reckoning with issues of race and justice.

Keep reading... Show less

Super League in super trouble

The European Super League is on the brink before it even manages to launch.

The state of play: Two key English teams — Chelsea and Manchester City — are reportedly preparing to exit just two days after the league announced its formation, ESPN notes.

Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories