The violent death of Jamal Khashoggi, within the premises of the Saudi Consulate General in Istanbul had been feared for many days but its confirmation still comes as a shock. Nothing can justify this killing and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms. Defending freedom of expression and a free press are key priorities for Germany, the United Kingdom and France. The threatening, attacking or killing of journalists, under any circumstances, is unacceptable and of utmost concern to our three nations.
Our thoughts are today with Mr Khashoggi’s family, his fiancée, and his friends - who have worried about him for weeks, and to whom we extend our most heartfelt condolences.
We take note of the Saudi statement which gives their preliminary findings. Yet there remains an urgent need for clarification of exactly what happened on October 2nd – beyond the hypotheses that have been raised so far in the Saudi investigation, which need to be backed by facts to be considered credible. We thus stress that more efforts are needed and expected towards establishing the truth in a comprehensive, transparent and credible manner. We will ultimately make our judgement based on the credibility of the further explanation we receive about what happened and our confidence that such a shameful event cannot and will not ever be repeated. We therefore ask for the investigation to be carried out thoroughly until responsibilities are clearly established and that there is proper accountability and due process for any crimes committed.
We will stay in close contact with the Saudi authorities in that regard.
The quality and significance of the relationship we have with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia also rests with the respect we have for the norms and values to which our Saudi partners and us are jointly committed under international law.
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