Khashoggi Murder is a Threat to Democracy

Jamal Khashoggi - AFP/Getty Images
Jamal Khashoggi - AFP/Getty Images

The world in which we live has generally become more civilised, with the majority of people more informed and inclined to the respect for human rights, and in particular the sanctity of human life. On the contrary, the dichotomy of State power versus ordinary citizens has grown to alarming proportions.

Ordinary citizens have become more informed, thanks to the use of electronic media and other various forms of modern technology. Technology and new inventions have also helped the State to access advanced weaponry and exercise power monopoly. This has given rise to states or at most political leaders employing these technologies and the overwhelming State power against defenceless and in most cases well-meaning ordinary citizens.

By Jennings Rukani

It can be argued that governments pose the greatest threat physically and otherwise to their citizens, then non-State actors or rogue citizens in modern times. The alleged brutal killing and dismemberment of the Saudi Arabian-US resident Mr. Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi Consulate, if proven true, has far reaching global implications of unimagined proportions.

The violation of international law in that Khashoggi was in a third country of Turkey, in a Saudi Consulate (is a Saudi Arabian citizen) and was a resident of the US cannot be underestimated.

However, what should worry the international community more is not only that Khashoggi was killed. It is how he was killed and where the brutal killing is alleged to have happened, an Embassy manned by diplomatic personnel from his home country, which has the first duty of care and protection of its citizens.

States have increasingly slaughtered ordinary civilians who are citizens of enemy countries or in pursuit of enemy individuals, groups or “terrorists” utilising their long reach advantage and fire power as well as intelligence gathering capabilities, through wars and proxy wars.

There has been a very worrying trend though of State actors going abroad to eliminate perceived enemies and critics without authorization from the sovereign powers and by employing an “I dare you” approach. Russia is alleged to have attempted to murder former double agent Skirpal and his daughter in Salisbury, UK. China is accused of arresting the Interpol Chief based in Europe. These are only cases which came into the public domain.

Many governments stand accused of causing the death of their asylum-seeking citizens based in other countries. The Khashoggi murder perpetrators, if left unpunished or if states cover up for each other for economic and political expediency will result in many rulers embarking on even more daring murder exploits abroad which could trigger wars and even Third World War due to the global connectedness of countries today.

Democracy will also have been dealt a crushing defeat and autocracy, theocracy and dictatorships becoming the victors, unleashing untold misery on the long suffering, over taxed and ignored common person.

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