US President Donald Trump has been reluctant to make any move that would undermine the US alliance with Saudi Arabia.But the pressure to place human rights above business interests has been increasing.US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made the trip to Saudi Arabia earlier this week where he says the kingdom’s leaders denied involvement in the case.They also assured me that they will conduct a complete thorough investigation of all of the facts surrounding Mr. Khashoggi and that they will do so in a timely fashion.Rights groups say a Saudi probe cannot be credible and have called on the United Nations to conduct an independent investigation.They’ve already released contradictory information they said that he had left the consulate.So whatever would come out of the investigation that they opened only two days ago would not be credible in any way.Saudi royals are notorious for harsh treatment of dissent in the country they ruled with an iron fist.The authorities prohibit protests. They prohibit independent voices, trade unions.
This is how they have always been.Rights groups say the United Nations has not done much to change that.Member States even those who profess to be human rights friendly are very hypocritical when it comes to the subject of Saudi Arabia and shielding their main ally.Analyst Larry Diamond says Jamal Khashoggi has been a legal U.S. resident and Washington cannot shrug off his disappearance.I think it should be treated as an assault on the United States and on American democracy.Journalists have been among the most vocal in demanding justice for their colleague.
I would like to see president Trump for example speak out forcefully for more information.Getting these Saudis to tell us exactly what happened.I think it’s important that we get that signal from the top of the US government.The Committee to Protect Journalists says independent and critical journalism is in a crisis globally.Currently there are more than 260 journalists in jail around the world and 44 others have been killed, 27 of them murdered.
Zlatica Hoke VOA news Washington.