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In Swipe at Saudi Arabia, Washington City Council Names ‘Jamal Khashoggi’ Street In Front Of Embassy

In Swipe at Saudi Arabia, Washington City Council Names ‘Jamal Khashoggi’ Street In Front Of Embassy
folder_openAmericas... access_timeone month ago
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By Staff, Agencies

In a pointed rebuke to one of the United States’ oldest allies in the Middle East, the City Council in Washington, D.C., has passed a bill renaming the street in front of the Saudi Embassy after slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi was brutally murdered inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in October 2018 by a team of Saudi assassins that the US intelligence community has concluded was dispatched by the country’s crown prince and de facto ruler, Mohammed bin Salman, often referred to as MBS.

The idea behind the bill, which passed unanimously on Monday, is to remind the world of the dangers faced by journalists all over the world and that a free press is “fundamental to our democracy,” according to its chief sponsor, Council member Brooke Pinto.

The renaming of the block in front of the embassy “Jamal Khashoggi Way” will serve to permanently shame and embarrass Saudi diplomats — and all who visit them — for a government-ordered assassination whose architects have still gone unpunished. 

“Jamal Khashoggi Way will serve as a daily reminder for the Saudi Embassy and the Saudi government that Jamal Khashoggi and his legacy are just as powerful in death as in life, and that the principles of human rights and democracy for which he gave his life burn bright in those letters spelling out his name and in that sign right just across the street,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of Democracy for the Arab World Now, a human rights organization founded by Khashoggi four months before his murder.

Pinto’s proposal was featured last summer in the conclusion to the eight-part Yahoo News “Conspiracyland” podcast, “The Secret Lives and Brutal Death of Jamal Khashoggi.” The series, based on exclusive interviews and newly unearthed documents, examined how the journalist evolved from a longtime spokesman of the Saudi regime into an impassioned critic of his country’s authoritarian ruler, MBS, and how the Trump White House helped cover up his killing.