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USA: government's attempt to grant immunity to Saudi Crown Prince is 'sickening'

Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in October 2018 © AFP/Getty Images

US Department of Justice has submitted documents arguing Mohammed bin Salman is immune from legal action because of his prime ministerial status 

Hatice Cengiz is seeking redress in US courts for her fiancée Jamal Khashoggi's 2018 murder at the hands of Saudi state agents

‘The US government should hang its head in shame. This is nothing more than a sickening, total, deep betrayal’ - Agnès Callamard

Responding to the US government’s legal submission calling on a US court to grant Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, immunity from a lawsuit filed by murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi's fiancée, Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International's Secretary General, said: 

“The US government should hang its head in shame. This is nothing more than a sickening, total, deep betrayal. 

“First the evidence of the Crown Prince’s involvement in Jamal Khashoggi's murder was disregarded by President Trump, then President Biden's fist bump - it all suggests shady deals made throughout. 

“For the Saudi government to seek to extend immunity to Mohammed bin Salman simply by declaring him Prime Minister is beyond cynical. It is disappointing that the US government has given effect to this legal ruse. 

“This sends a deplorable message that those in power - be they heads of state, government officials with blood on their hands, generals commanding war crimes, ministers ordering abduction and torture, corrupt executives - are free to operate above the law with total impunity.”

“Mohammed bin Salman must face a court of law to answer these serious allegations and we hold out hope that the US court system will reject the Department of Justice argument and ensure that the matter proceeds to trial.

“No-one should be assured immunity for such heinous crimes and we - and the international human rights movement as a whole - will not rest until those responsible for Jamal Khashoggi’s murder are brought to justice.”

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