As the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, M. Jean-Yves Le Drian, announced on Monday 19 November on the sidelines of the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels, and in consultation with its European partners, particularly Germany, France has just adopted sanctions against 18 Saudi nationals in connection with the murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul on 2 October 2018.
The measures, decided on by the Ministry of the Interior, aim to prevent those individuals from gaining access to France or the rest of the Schengen Area. They are protective measures which may be reviewed or extended depending on the progress of the investigations under way.
The murder of Mr Khashoggi is an extremely serious crime which is also in breach of press freedom and the most basic rights. France demands that full light be shed on how such an act could have been committed. It is waiting for a transparent, detailed and exhaustive response from the Saudi authorities. It will form its own opinion when the time comes. It reiterates its opposition, everywhere and under all circumstances, to the death penalty.
Meanwhile, France is considering with its European partners the possibility of a collective sanctions mechanism enabling the European Union in future to take the necessary measures in the event of serious human rights violations.
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