U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs

02/26/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/26/2021 15:26

Meeks Issues Statement Regarding Unclassified Report on Jamal Khashoggi’s Murder

Washington, D.C. - Today, Representative Gregory W. Meeks, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee issued the following statement in response to the Biden Administration's release of an unclassified report on the death of the Jamal Khashoggi and its announcement of sanctions against individuals involved in his murder:

'I applaud the Biden administration for releasing this long-overdue unclassified report on the murder and dismemberment of U.S. resident and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi by agents of the Saudi government.

'For too long the Trump administration had ignored the law and refused to comply with FY2020 NDAA statutory requirements (Sec. 1277 and 5714) for an unclassified report on Mr. Khashoggi's murder. In refusing to comply with that law, they withheld details and evidence concerning those who carried out, participated in and ordered his death, as well as the extent of involvement of current and former Saudi political figures. This flagrant violation of the law was but one example of the previous administration's willful neglect of human rights and a shameful dishonoring of Mr. Khashoggi's life.

'I am encouraged by the Biden administration's announcement of the 'Khashoggi Policy', new visa restrictions pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act on those involved in such operations targeting dissidents as well as new financial sanctions on Ahmad Hassan Mohammed al Asiri (former Deputy Head of Saudi Arabia's General Intelligence Presidency) and the Saudi Rapid Intervention Force which conducted the operation under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act.

'However, given the report's conclusions about the direct role of Mohamed bin Salman, I look forward to further steps towards accountability. This official U.S. government document confirms and reiterates what previous investigations have indicated - namely his control and direct authority over the Saudi Rapid Intervention Force and related intelligence bodies mean he was indeed directly involved.

'As Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I will continue to work with the Biden administration to take further steps to ensure everyone, including those at the top, are held fully accountable, and I am reviewing further options to do so. The forced repatriation, intimidation, or killing of dissidents by the Saudi government, or any other government, must not go unchecked.'

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