Rep. Ilhan Omar asked Congress to impose sanctions on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman after the U.S. concluded he approved the operation that ended in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Ms. Omar, Minnesota Democrat, introduced a bill Tuesday – the Mohammed bin Salman Must be Sanctioned Act, or MBS MBS Act – to directly punish the Saudi leader over the killing of Khashoggi in 2018.
“This is a test of our humanity,” Ms. Omar said in a statement, arguing “there is no reason not to” sanction the Saudi prince since U.S. intelligence officials found he approved Khashoggi‘s killing.
“Every minute Mohammed bin Salman escapes punishment is a moment where U.S. interests, human rights and the lives of Saudi dissenters are at risk,” Ms. Omar said about her bill.
Khashoggi, a Saudi dissident and U.S. resident, vanished after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, in October 2018, and it was ultimately determined that he was killed inside.
U.S. intelligence officials concluded the crown prince had approved of the operation that ended in Khashoggi‘s killing, but that assessment was kept private until after President Biden entered office.
While the Biden administration accordingly imposed sanctions on 17 other Saudis the U.S. has connected to Khashoggi‘s killing, the White House has not directly punished the crown prince himself.
Ms. Omar said her bill includes asset freezes to block the crown prince from conducting transactions involving the U.S. and would also make him inadmissible, barring him from entering the country.
The Saudi Embassy in the U.S. did not immediately return a message requesting comment.