A United Nations human rights expert called on the United States to consider halting the sale of surveillance equipment to Saudi Arabia at a congressional hearing on Friday, September 11.
UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions Agnes Callamard made the comments in the light of the brutal assassination of Jamal Khashoggi. She further added that the ban on the export of surveillance equipment to Saudi Arabia should only be lifted if the country showed a marked improvement in its human right track record.
In addition to a ban on the export of equipment, the UN Special Rapporteur told the US House Intelligence Committee that an investigation was also required in order to reveal any kind of misuse of surveillance equipment sent to Saudi Arabia from the US.
In October 2018, Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. He was a vocal critic of the Saudi royal family and while Riyadh at first denied any knowledge of the killing, the Kingdom was later found to have played a significant role in his murder.
Meanwhile, Saudi authorities have convicted eight men for Khashoggi's murder. The sentences to the guilty party were handed out on August 7. The identities of those convicted for the killing of the dissident journalist has not been revealed.
As per reports, 5 men were sentenced to 20 years in prison while 3 were sentenced to 10 years. Five of those convicted had originally been given death sentences but back in May, Khashoggi's sons ‘pardoned’ their father’s killers and therefore their death sentence was rendered void.