Agnès Callamard, my colleague and friend.
We are having this conversation at a very sad moment,
to mark the one year anniversary of the killing of Jamal
This is also an opportunity for us
to talk about global freedom of expression issues
and free speech, free press issues in the United States
Let's start with talking about the creation of Global Freedom
of Expression Project, that I asked you to come in and head,
and you've done and so brilliantly.
What we we've demonstrated at Columbia Global
Freedom of Expression is actually,
the richness of our common understanding
of freedom of expression.
And the fact that so many courts around the world,
particularly of course, in Latin America, Africa, and Europe,
have actually taken the international standard
form article 19 of the ICCPR, and developed a jurisprudence
that has become quite integrated across those three continents.
And is enriching the jurisprudence
of each of those continent.
Let's talk about your other work.
And that is as the special rapporteur
for the United Nations on extrajudicial killings.
And then your involvement in the investigation
of Jamall Khashoggi's murder.
The case of Jamal Khashoggi is both symbolic of the patterns,
and it's also quite exceptional.
So in many ways, it represents global patterns of attacks--
physical attacks against journalists and media
workers, which literally do not resort
into any kind of prosecution.
So the large amount of impunity attached to those killings
as far as the masterminds are concerned.
In a number of cases, the hit men
may be identified, but who ordered the crimes are not.
And that was also the story last year,
because the Saudi authorities quite very quickly identified
the so-called hit team, but did not really get in
to who ordered it.
So the gap there was very much in keeping with the unfortunate
pattern that we have identified.
What made the case of his killing particularly distinct
though, is how international it was.
So it took place outside the country of the killers
and outside the country of the victim.
Most importantly for you and for I in addition to all of that,
and which was often overlooked, it also
violated freedom of expression, which
is a point you made very when in your op-ed
in the Washington Post, where you demonstrated
that the killing of Jamal Khashoggi,
a resident of the United States, also sought
to violate deeply held norms.
We all should be concerned whatever
our citizenship about violations of free speech, free
press around the world.
As I like to say and have said, it's now the case
that censorship anywhere is censorship everywhere.
And that certainly applies in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.
The focus I also wanted to bring to this,
which was the genesis for the piece
that I did in the Washington Post
that you referred to because I wanted
to make the case that if you just cared or looked
at it from the standpoint of freedom of speech and press
in the United States, just from the standpoint of the First
Amendment, he was murdered in significant part because
of his exercise of First Amendment rights
in the United States through things
that he said and wrote, especially in the Washington
And so it raises this profoundly deep concern
as to what the United States will do
and can do legally when one of the people or more
of the people who are exercising their First Amendment rights
are then killed, murdered, or otherwise
penalized for that speech by actors and states
around the world.
But it made clear that there is under existing United States
law, a basis for pursuing a criminal investigation
from the United States into this terrible episode that happened
in the consulate in Turkey.
Not only to begin an investigation,
but if the government, federal government,
identified they felt were the perpetrators that there
was a basis for initiating the criminal action against them.
Not having done that sends a frightening concerning
message to United States citizens
and all people who exercise their First Amendment rights,
that the United States government will not in a sense
protect them against foreign actors who penalize them,
even commit murder because of the exercise of their rights.
I'm certainly hoping that short of a federal level
investigation of the nature that you are describing,
I still believe that either the FBI could do something,
given its mandate.
If not, the FBI, then the Director of National security
could do something.
I'm also hoping that the various ongoing suits around the CIA
analysis of the killings, of the responsibilities--
that these information will eventually
be made public either through a formal request,
through a court case, through the Congress, and so on.
So I remain moderately optimistic
that within the United States, there
will be sufficient commitment to the values you've described.
And sufficient courage to move with either one
of those actions.
The key point is that people need
to see that if you care about the First Amendment exercise
rights of free speech and free press,
you should be concerned about how the government protects you
by prosecuting and going after perpetrators of crimes
abroad against you for the exercise of their rights.
That's one of the things that the Khashoggi case makes.
We should all be concerned about anything
that happens to journalists or speakers around the world
no matter what country they come from.
We should all be concerned about that.
Can you talk some, Agnes, about what
you found in the investigation that you conducted
as the special rapporteur?
What I did find was that the execution of Mr. Khashoggi
was premeditated, that it was well organized,
that it was planned, and that there
is no other way to describe it but as a state killing.
I reached the conclusion that it was the responsibility
of the state of Saudi Arabia, not of rogue actors, as they
have tried to pretend, on the basis of the evidence I
have collected regarding the organization of the killing.
And on the basis of international law,
related to what amounts to a state act, as opposed
to what amount to an individual act by individual actors.
There is only one conclusion that can be reached.
That was a killing for which the state of Saudi Arabia
is directly responsible.
That finding has been rejected, and so far
the state of Saudi Arabia has refused
to acknowledge its responsibility as a state,
and has placed the blame of some fairly low key individuals that
were part of the hit team.
What I have also found is that the state of Saudi Arabia,
again, failed to investigate the killing in good faith.
Failed to cooperate with the Turkish authorities
in good faith.
And there is strong evidence pointing
to the state of Saudi Arabia cleaning up the crime scene
so as to make it impossible for the Turkish investigators
to find any kind of evidence.
And just finally, as far as we know
and as has been reported in the press,
our intelligence agencies also agree with those conclusions?
Well, according to the leaks that had been
provided by various media, yes.
I did not rely on this information
because it was not credible enough
in terms of meeting my standard of evidence.
But everything that I've read and heard,
including directly by people who were briefed by those agencies,
yes, concur with my conclusion.
Agnes Callamard, thank you very much.