Canada should lead campaign to move G20 summit out of Saudi Arabia, says UN expert

Posted In: News Date:Jul 6th, 2019

A United Nations human rights expert says she will be asking the Canadian government to push to have the 2020 G20 Summit in Saudi Arabia relocated elsewhere — or to boycott it altogether.

Agnès Callamard, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, is calling on world leaders to move or boycott the summit in order to protest the killing of Saudi national Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist who was often critical of the Saudi government.

"I will be reaching out to a number of governments regarding the many recommendations I have made," Callamard told Power and Politics host Katie Simpson, adding that she plans to contact Canadian officials.

"The holding of the G20 in Saudi Arabia next year is a slap in the face of all those who have fought, and some of whom have died, for accountability and for human rights protection."

The G20 summit of leading industrial and developing nations is scheduled to be held in November, 2020 in Riyadh, the Saudi kingdom's capital.

Jamal Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Turkey in October 2018 to handle wedding paperwork. He was subsequently strangled and dismembered. In the wake of his death, the Canadian government sanctioned 17 Saudis linked to the killing.