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Netflix blocks comedy show in Saudi Arabia

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Senior US official: Saudi version of Khashoggi murder 'not credible'

A protester holds a picture of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a demonstration in front of Saudi Consulate.

While in Riyadh, Pompeo is scheduled to meet Saudi leaders to discuss Yemen, Iran and Syria.

Saudi Arabia's attorney general sought the death penalty for five of 11 defendants charged with the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi as their trial opened in Riyadh on Thursday.

The official added that "from our point of view, that the narrative emerging from the Saudis throughout the legal process has yet to hit that threshold of credibility and accountability".

A recently released Turkish book titled Diplomatic Atrocity claims that the main suspects in the murder, who include senior aides of powerful Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, have not been arrested but are in fact staying in luxury homes away from the public eye.

"The Saudis should have a credible narrative for what happened in the consulate and subsequent events", the United States official said Friday.

Human rights group Amnesty International said Saudi Arabia's censorship of Netflix is "further proof of a relentless crackdown on freedom of expression".

According to Al Jazeera, the spokeswoman for the UN Human Rights Office, Ravina Shamdasani, said that the ongoing trial is "not sufficient" and called for an independent investigation "with global involvement".

"From the very beginning of this case, we've been pressing for justice".

Mike Pompeo is seeking to reassure allies that the United States is not abandoning the region.

Quoting a USA official, Reuters has reported that Pompeo will underscore USA support for allies, counter-terrorism cooperation during Middle East visit.

Pompeo will be visiting eight countries between January 8 and 15, namely Jordan, Egypt, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait.

His talks will focus on Syria and "how the USA will work with allies and partners to prevent the resurgence of Daesh, stand fast with those who fought with us against Daesh, and counter Iranian malign behavior in the region", his spokesman said.

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