A senior Saudi official denied threatening the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, Agnescalamar, after her investigation into the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The British Guardian newspaper had previously said that during a meeting with UN officials in Geneva in January 2020, a Saudi official twice threatened that Callamard would be “taken over” if the United Nations did not seize her.
Without naming the Saudi official, Callamard confirmed to the British newspaper that the comment was considered a “death threat” by her colleagues in Geneva.
The head of the Saudi Human Rights Council, Awad bin Saleh Al-Awad, confirmed Thursday that Callamard and UN officials believe he made the threat.
“While I cannot remember the exact conversations, I did not want or threaten any individual appointed by the United Nations, or anyone,” Al-Awad emphasized.
Khashoggi, an opponent of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was a resident of the United States and was writing for the Washington Post, before he was killed in 2018 inside his country’s consulate in Istanbul.