On October 2, 2018, Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist, was brutally murdered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul with the direct approval of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS). His assassination sparked international outrage as governments, journalists, and businesses tried to reckon with this horrific act. Five years later, the international community has welcomed the crown prince back into the fold despite the lack of justice or accountability for the murder. As a result, MBS has escalated his campaign of repression and become an even bigger threat to human rights in Saudi Arabia and around the world.
Please join The Freedom Initiative, Project on Middle East Democracy, ALQST for Human Rights, Committee to Protect Journalists, Democracy for the Arab World Now, Freedom House, Human Rights Watch, and PEN America as we commemorate the life and legacy of Jamal Khashoggi and commit to safeguarding the rights of dissidents.
Pre-Recorded Opening Remarks:
- Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA)
Chair of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, & Global Women’s Issues
- Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
Member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relation Committee
- Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT)
Chair of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia and Counterterrorism
- Representative Jim McGovern (D-MA)
Co-chair of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee’s Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission
- Representative Gregory Meeks (D-NY)
Ranking Member of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee
- Omar Abdulaziz
Omar Abdulaziz is a Saudi dissident and video blogger based in Montreal, Canada. He was close friends and worked with Jamal Khashoggi on various initiatives after leaving Saudi Arabia in 2017. In 2018, he was targeted by Saudi hackers and his conversations with Khashoggi were intercepted.
- Karen Attiah
Karen Attiah is the Global Opinions editor for the Washington Post, where she recruited Jamal Khashoggi as a contributor. She has written extensively about his murder and called for an investigation and accountability. In 2019, she won a George Polk Award for her writing and was named 2019 Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black journalists for her coverage of Khashoggi’s murder.
- Lina al-Hathloul
Lina al-Hathloul is a Saudi human rights defender and head of monitoring and advocacy at ALQST for Human Rights. She is the sister of Saudi women’s rights defender and former political prisoner Loujain al-Hathloul.
- Akbar Shahid Ahmed
Akbar Shahid Ahmed is HuffPost’s senior foreign affairs reporter based in Washington, D.C. He has reported from across the Muslim-majority world and has written extensively on the death and aftermath of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder.
- Hatice Cengiz, fiancée of Jamal Khashoggi