Amnesty raises alarm at Saudi 'whitewash' in Khashoggi probe
Leading rights groups and media watchdogs have expressed alarm at a possible "whitewash" in the investigation into Saudi Arabia's murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Riyadh on Saturday announced the arrest of 18 Saudis and the sacking of two top aides of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as part of its "probe" into the killing.
Amnesty International said the "impartiality" of a Saudi probe into the case would remain in question after the kingdom admitted that Khashoggi had been killed inside Riyadh's consulate in Istanbul.
"All along we were concerned about a whitewash, or an investigation by the entity suspected of involvement itself," the London-based rights group's Rawya Rageh said.
"The impartiality of a Saudi investigation would remain in question," she added.
Rageh said human rights organizations have underlined the need for "an impartial and independent investigation by the UN to find out what happened and ensure justice" for Khashoggi.
The remarks came after Saudi Attorney General Sheikh Saud al-Mojeb said that Khashoggi had died after "discussions" at the consulate turned into "a brawl and a fist fight."
The admission of Khashoggi's murder at the hands of Saudi officials followed more than two weeks of denials by the kingdom of any involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance.