Opinion: Jamal Khashoggi's assassination cannot be pardoned

The most recent example is the case of the former Saudi minister Saad Aljabri, who headed antiterrorism efforts for the Interior Ministry for decades. From the beginning, this “pardon” pushed for by the pro-government agenda never included prominent feminists such as Loujain al-Hathloul who AmnestyInternational has said has been tortured and electrocuted in jail; an economist such as Essam Al-Zamel, who has suffered abuse; or a political reformist such as Abdullah al-Hamid, whodiedin prison last month as a result of medical negligence. Five years ago, the Saudi High Court, the kingdom’s highest judicial body, decided that a murder that involved luring the victim to a place to kill him is a crime that is not pardonable, even from a family member. But the Saudi government has refused to give mercy to the intellectuals, economists, scholars and journalists, who suffer and languish in jail because of their peaceful activism and calls for reform. Alas, the Saudi government remembers the virtues of pardon only when it comes to those who carried out one of the most gruesome assassinations in thehistory of our region.