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Diplomatic killings

58 0 38
09.11.2018

JAMAL Khashoggi, a US resident, contributor to the Washington Post and vocal critic of the Saudi regime, entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct 2 and was killed therein, allegedly by a team of 15 Saudi ‘operatives’.

That Khashoggi’s premeditated killing and alleged dismemberment was a clear violation of international law is not disputed. In addition to being a violation of international human rights law, the killing also contravenes the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, whose language largely mirrors that of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Article 31 of the 1963 convention states that “[t]he premises of the mission shall be inviolable. The agents of the receiving state may not enter them, except with the consent of the head of the mission” and “[t]he premises of the mission … shall be immune from search, requisition, attachment or execution”. However, Article 55 also obliges the sending state to comply with the laws of the host state, stating that “[w]ithout prejudice to their privileges and immunities, it is the duty of all persons enjoying such privileges and immunities to respect the laws and regulations of the receiving state” and “[t]he consular premises shall not be used in any manner incompatible with the exercise of consular functions”.

While consular and diplomatic premises are inviolable under the 1963 convention, they remain within the territory of the host state, which retains the right and obligation to enforce its laws throughout its domain. Of the suspects arrested by Riyadh, it must be stressed that, though several members of the 15-person team directly implicated in the........

© Dawn