UN rights investigator Agnes Callamard named Amnesty chief

London, March 29

Agnes Callamard, who led a United Nations’ investigation into the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, has been appointed the new leader of Amnesty International.

The international human rights group said Callamard’s four-year term as Secretary-General begins on Monday.

Callamard, a French human rights expert, has previously led free-speech organisation Article 19 and directs the Global Freedom of Expression Project at Columbia University. As the UN’s special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, she investigated the killing of Khashoggi, who entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October  2, 2018, to pick up some documents, and never walked out.

Callamard has said that after her report on the killing was published in 2019 — concluding it was likely state-sanctioned — she was threatened with death by a senior Saudi official.

She also investigated the US drone strike that killed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani and concluded it was unlawful.  — AP

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