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UK to revoke Khashoggi murder case suspects' visas

UK to revoke Khashoggi murder case suspects' visas
British Prime Minister Theresa May says Saudi explanation of death during fight not 'credible'

By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal

LONDON (AA) - The U.K. will revoke the visas of suspects involved in the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, British prime minister said on Wednesday.

Responding to questions from lawmakers at the House of Commons in a weekly question session, Theresa May said the U.K. condemns the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi “in the strongest possible terms”.

British premiere said the Home Secretary Sajid Javid is taking all necessary steps against all suspects to prevent them from entering the U.K. and “if these individuals currently have visas, those visas will be revoked today”.

Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post, had gone missing since entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

After days of denying to know his whereabouts, Saudi Arabia last week claimed Khashoggi died during a fight inside the consulate.

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz sacked the deputy of the intelligence service and a top aide and ordered the arrest of 18 suspects over the case.

May’s remarks came after a question from Ian Blackford, the Scottish National Party (SNP) leader in Westminster, whether the U.K. government would think of ending the arm sales to Saudi Arabia.

- British arm sales to Saudi Arabia

“The kidnapping, killing and mutilation of the respected Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has rightly shocked the world,” Blackford said.

He added: “A killing that has all the whole marks of being a premeditated murder. [German Chancellor] Angela Merkel has announced her government will no longer approve new arm sales exports to the Saudi Kingdom; that is moral leadership.

“The U.K. government must take decisive action. Words of condemnation will not do. Will the prime minister finally commit to ending the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia?”

May reiterated the U.K.’s position, saying, “The claim that Mr. Khashoggi died in a fight does not amount to a credible explanation.”

She said the U.K.’s foreign secretary and ministers, as well as ambassador to Riyadh have been making its position “very clear” to the Saudis, adding that she expected to speak with King Salman later today.

Blackford further asked about the arm sales to Saudi Arabia.

“The Saudi Arabia regime is responsible of multiple human rights violations, critics face death by crucifixion, teenagers tortured, women imprisoned for campaigning for their human rights, the brutal bombardment of Yemen pushing that country to the brink of famine and now the state-sponsored murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

“What more evidence of criminality does the prime minister need before she fully commits to ending the sale of arms to the brutal regime of Saudi Arabia?,” he asked.

May said they are concerned about the situation in Yemen but did not elaborate any possible ending to arm sales to Saudi Arabia.

She said the U.K. is doing its parts as the third biggest humanitarian aid supplier to Yemen and underlined that the operation in Yemen by a Saudi coalition has been approved by the UN Security Council.

source: News Feed
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