More than 40 US civil society groups have called on President Joe Biden to impose sanctions on Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman over his role in the assassination of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The move is the culmination of a campaign led by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which is the largest Islamic civil rights and advocacy organisation in the United States. Other organisations involved include Democracy Now for the Arab World (DAWN).
"President Biden should use his power to impose the full range of sanctions available under the Global Magnitsky Act – including asset freezes and visa bans – on Bin Salman as well as any other Saudi national implicated in the murder," said the groups. "Magnitsky Act sanctions should also be imposed on the leadership of Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, which owns the airline and aircraft used to transport Jamal Khashoggi's assassins between Saudi Arabia and Turkey."
The Director of US Intelligence concluded in its report published last Friday that Bin Salman "agreed to kidnap or kill Khashoggi", as he considered him a threat to the Kingdom. The prince is said to have supported the use of violent measures if necessary to silence the journalist.
The Biden administration has imposed sanctions on some Saudi officials, however, including Ahmed Al-Asiri, the former deputy chief of intelligence, and members of the Rapid Intervention Force.
The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced its "categorical rejection" of "defaming and incorrect conclusions about the Kingdom's leadership" mentioned in the report.
Khashoggi was killed on 2 October, 2018 inside the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul. His murder shocked the international community.