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EU parliament urges arms embargo on Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi murder, Yemen war

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This file pictures shows a view of the European Parliament in session. (Photo by Reuters)

The European Parliament has called on European Union (EU) member states to impose an arms embargo on Saudi Arabia over its gruesome murder of well-known dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and the Saudi devastating war on Yemen.

The EU legislative branch, in an arms export report adopted on Thursday, urged all members of the 27-nation bloc to “follow the example of Germany, Finland and Denmark, which, after the killing of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi adopted restrictions on their arms exports to Saudi Arabia.”

The report notes that arms exported to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and some other Arab states had been used in the the war on Yemen “where 22 million people find themselves in need of humanitarian aid and protection.”

It also urges the remaining EU countries to impose the Saudi sanctions to prevent further civilian suffering in the Yemen conflict.

Khashoggi was murdered at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018, after he entered the premises to obtain paperwork for a planned marriage with his Turkish fiancée Hatice Cengiz.

Turkish officials say the 59-year-old was strangled and his body cut into pieces by a 15-man Saudi squad inside the consulate, and his remains are yet to be found.

On September 7, the Riyadh Criminal Court overturned five death sentences over Khashoggi's murder and commuted them to prison terms of up to 20 years to those convicted of his killing, saying they had been pardoned by the journalist's family.

The ruling was condemned by his fiancée and slammed by a UN expert as a “parody of justice.”

Cengiz branded the verdict a “farce” and wrote on her Twitter page, “The ruling handed down today in Saudi Arabia again makes a complete mockery of justice.”

Agnes Callamard, the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, slammed the ruling as a “parody of justice.”

“These verdicts carry no legal or moral legitimacy. They came at the end of a process which was neither fair, nor just, or transparent,” Callamard wrote on Twitter.

Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched the war on Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of crushing the popular Houthi Ansrullah movement and bringing the government of former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur back to power.

The US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, estimates that the war has claimed more than 100,000 lives for more than the past five years.

The Houthi Ansrullah movement, backed by the armed forces, has been defending Yemen against the Saudi-led alliance, preventing the aggressors from fulfilling the “objectives” of their devastating war.

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