By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) - Justice must be achieved for slain Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, the chair of the EU's Subcommittee on Human Rights wrote in an opinion piece published Tuesday.
"Khashoggi’s heinous murder shines a light on how these rights have been brutally trampled on under the Saudi regime," Antonio Panzeri wrote in the Washington Post newspaper.
Khashoggi was brutally murdered inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul last October shortly after he entered the diplomatic facility. Riyadh initially denied any role in the killing but has since sought to blame his death on a botched rendition operation carried out by rogue agents.
In November, the CIA concluded with high confidence that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered Khashoggi's killing, according to The Washington Post.
Panzeri said that despite going on a "tour of world capitals" to tout reforms in his country that portray it as being a regional leader in human rights, bin Salman's government has been "following a path that leads in a completely different direction."
"The regime, despite small concessions, has continued to behave in an authoritarian and repressive manner," said Panzeri. "The need to forge relationships with international powers explains the crown prince’s occasional concessions. Fortunately, there are still some leaders who see through the smokescreen and have some qualms about trading with a dictator."
Panzeri emphasized the EU must "remain active" in Khashoggi's case, saying he "will continue to work to ensure that the truth about what happened to Khashoggi emerges."
"The Saudi leadership cannot get away with so little action," he said.