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Canada pushed for probe into Khashoggi killing directly with UN human rights chief

Canada pushed directly with the United Nations human rights chief for an investigation into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi Arabia.

One official, speaking on background, confirmed to Global News that Canada asked the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as others, to launch an investigation into the killing, which shocked the international community but has been met with apparent indifference among countries on some of the UN’s most powerful bodies.

“Canada raised the possibility of a UN-led investigation in discussions with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and other UN officials,” the official said.

But that request appears to have been rebuffed, and it’s not clear why.

Part of the “core work” described on the website of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is conducting commissions of inquiry and fact-finding missions in cases of suspected human rights violations.

The UN’s special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary killings noted six specific violations of international law that she believes are at play in what she described as the “execution” of Khashoggi by Saudi agents inside the Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey last fall.

Global News has reached out to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights requesting comment. This copy will be updated with any received response.

As Global News reported exclusively on Wednesday, Canadian officials tried to organize support for an international investigation into the murder late last year.

But those efforts proved fruitless, with one Canadian official from the embassy in Saudi Arabia pointing the finger at “most, if not all” members of the Security Council, whom the individual accused of having a “vested interest” in blocking such a probe.

“No other states have yet pressed for an international investigation. Not bilaterally, not in the G7, and not at the UN. None of the UNSC members have an interest in supporting an international investigation,” reads a memo prepared by that Canadian political official for three director-level Global Affairs Canada officials with responsibility in the Middle East.

“In fact, most, if not all, would have a vested interest in ensuring it does not take place.”

The permanent members of the UN Security Council — those who have veto power over proposals before it — are China, France, Russia, the U.K. and the U.S.

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