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Middle East

No license to kill for Saudis, says Paris-based RSF

media An activist holds a sign and image of missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a demonstration calling for sanctions against Saudi Arabia and to protest Khashoggi's disappearance, outside the White House in Washington, U.S., October 19, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis

Paris-based international organisation Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urged the international community to freeze business ties with Saudi Arabia, who admitted Saturday to journalist Jamal Khashoggi's death at the kingdom's Turkish consulate.

Freeze Saudi business ties, says RSF head

The international community must keep up the pressure on Saudi Arabia after its admission that journalist Jamal Khashoggi died in its Turkish consulate, Reporters without Borders (RSF) said Saturday.

Riyadh had to be held to account for the death of Khashoggi and the imprisonment of other journalists, Christophe Deloire, Secretary General of the Paris-based media rights watchdog tweeted.

"Any attempt to get rid of the pressure on Saudi Arabia and to accept a compromise policy would result in giving a 'license to kill' to a Kingdom that puts in jail, lashes, kidnaps and even kills journalists who dare to investigate and launch debates," he wrote.

"After the recognition of Khashoggi's death, we expect a determined, constant and powerful pressure to be kept on Saudi Arabia in order to get the whole truth on the case and the release of Saudi Arabian journalists (who have) been condemned to crazy and horrible sentences," he added.

After earlier denials, Saudi Arabia admitted earlier Saturday that Khashoggi, an insider turned critic of the regime, had been killed inside its Istanbul consulate in what it described as a "brawl".

His disappearance has been shrouded in mystery and tipped Saudi Arabia into one of its worst international crises.

Turkish reports have accused Riyadh of carrying out a state-sponsored killing and dismembering the body.

Khashoggi, a contributor to the Washington Post newspaper, had been living in the United States since 2017.

On Friday, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for a "prompt, thorough and transparent investigation" into Khashoggi's death.

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