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Newspaper publishers and editors around the world are demanding Saudi Arabia provide immediate answers in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the World Editors Forum (WEF) issued the call for action in a statement on Friday, shortly after Saudi State Television confirmed that Mr. Khashoggi died after an altercation inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. Turkish police believe The Washington Post columnist was murdered and dismembered shortly after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2; Turkish media have reported that a 15-man hit team was sent from Riyadh specifically for the assignment.

“WAN-IFRA calls on the Turkish authorities to urgently provide proof of its claims of Saudi state involvement in the murder of Mr. Khashoggi, as well as increased international pressure for a full, verifiable accounting from the Saudi monarchy as to the events leading up to his death,” the statement read.

“If Saudi state involvement is indeed proven, the international community must stand firm in its stated resolve to insist on the highest level of investigation and punishment for those responsible – both for the perpetrators of this horrendous crime and the masterminds who ordered it.”

WAN-IFRA, in which The Globe and Mail is a member, condemned the “growing culture of impunity for crimes against journalists”; the Saudi officials presumably believed they would be protected by this. It noted that nine out of 10 murders of journalists globally go unpunished, fuelling a cycle of fear and violence that emboldens criminals.

Mr. Khashoggi, a U.S. resident who fled Saudi Arabia last year, was an outspoken critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He was visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul at the beginning of October for documents needed for his upcoming marriage. When he failed to reappear from the consulate, his fiancée notified police.

In a statement on Saturday, The Washington Post’s publisher and chief executive, Fred Ryan, accused Saudi Arabia of repeatedly lying in the three weeks since Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance. He urged U.S. President Donald Trump, the U.S. Congress and the international community to demand evidence of what happened to Mr. Khashoggi.

“Offering no proof, and contrary to all available evidence, they [Saudis] now expect the world to believe that Jamal died in a fight following a discussion. This is not an explanation; it is a cover-up,” Mr. Ryan said.

"The Saudis cannot be allowed to fabricate a face-saving solution to an atrocity that appears to have been directed by the highest levels of their government.”

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