UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and OHCHR head Michelle Bachelet stressed that a full examination of, and accountability for, human rights violations committed against Mr. Khashoggi be conducted.The journalist disappeared from the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October 2018.According to news reports, Saudi officials now admit that he was killed inside the embassy by a team of agents sent from Riyadh, although his body has yet to be recovered.Ms. Bachelet welcomed the steps taken by Turkish and Saudi authorities to investigate and prosecute the alleged perpetrators, but added that “given the information that high-level officials in Saudi Arabia were apparently involved, and it took place in the Consulate of Saudi Arabia, the bar must be set very high to ensure meaningful accountability and justice for such a shockingly brazen crime against a journalist and government critic.”“For an investigation to be carried out free of any appearance of political considerations, the involvement of international experts, with full access to evidence and witnesses, would be highly desirable,” she stated.Ms. Bachelet said it is important to determine whether serious human rights violations – such as torture, summary execution or enforced disappearance – were committed and to identify those implicated, “irrespective of their official capacity.”She called on Turkish and Saudi authorities to cooperate in ensuring that the truth be revealed.Noting that forensic examination, including an autopsy on the victim’s body is crucial in any murder investigation, Ms. Bachelet urged the Saudi authorities to reveal the whereabouts of Mr. Khasoggi’s body “without further delay or prevarication.”Since the murder was discovered, a chorus of UN officials have demanded a probe into Mr. Khashoggi’s case, including Secretary-General António Guterres, who stressed the need for a “prompt, thorough and transparent investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Khashoggi’s death and full accountability for those responsible.” The Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression David Kaye said he was “very disappointed” that Member States have so far failed to back calls for an independent international investigation into the murder.
Depending where you are in the world, luxury can mean many things to many people.Critical luxury is an emerging field of study in Europe that examines the relations between historical and contemporary ideas of luxury. Now, two Brock University professors are helping to bring it to Canada.History Professor Jessica Clark and Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures Professor Nigel Lezama are co-organizers of the Nouveau Reach: Past, Present and Future of Luxury conference being held this week at Ryerson University.The conference has brought together more than 30 scholars and industry professionals from around the world to examine the idea of what we consider luxury and why. They’re discussing the rapidly evolving global luxury market and how it impacts Canada.“I think that we all live with an idea of what luxury is,” says Lezama. “It ranges from a bit of fancy chocolate to an expensive indulgence to time spent with close friends.”“Critical luxury studies gives us a large box of tools to analyse the things and experiences that we consider luxuries. It allows us to determine where value lies, whether it’s in the thing or experience itself, or whether it’s imposed by systems like capitalism, or an internal system like psychology.”The critical luxury field crosses a range of disciplines.“Whether you look at language and signifiers, as Nigel does, or history, as I do, by relating our research back to the theme of ‘luxury,’ we can have dynamic conversations across disciplines,” Clark says.Participants in the conference include anthropologists, historians, philosophers, media studies experts, fashion scholars, designers, businesspeople and others.The field of critical luxury studies is a new one. In the past two years, a book by authors Joanne Roberts and John Armitage on the subject, “Critical Luxury Studies: Art, Design, and Media” was published and the Victorian and Albert Museum mounted an exhibit curated by Jana Scholze called “What is Luxury?”Last May, the two Brock professors represented the University at a conference in New York, which connected them with other groups of scholars in this emerging field.Much of the research in the critical luxury field is based in the United Kingdom, but the conference in Toronto this week is a way to bring the conversation to Canada and involve scholars from this country.“Seeing the international interest in luxury as a field of study first-hand made us wonder what luxury looks like in Canada,” says Lezama. “We realized Canadian scholars and makers had a lot to say on this issue, and we wanted to bring them together, along with the international community of critical luxury scholars.”The discussion won’t end when the conference is over, says Lezama, as they will be creating the Canadian Luxury Consortium, a group of scholars and industry players invested in continuing the conversation.The four-day Nouveau Reach conference is organized by Clark and Lezama along with Alison Matthews David, Robert Ott and Dylan Kwacz from Ryerson University. Scholze, Roberts and Armitage will also be in attendance.