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Washington's Saudi Embassy Street Renamed 'Jamal Khashoggi Way' To Honour Slain Journalist

Saudi-born US-based journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, a fierce critic of Saudi Arabia's crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed on 2 October 2018, in Istanbul.


Image: AP

In a recent development, Washinton DC has renamed the street in front of the Saudi embassy as 'Jamal Khashoggi Way,' one month before President Joe Biden's scheduled trip to Saudi Arabia. According to reports, the decision was made to honour slain journalist Khashoggi who was killed in Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul in 2018.

"Today (June 15) we officially unveil Jamal Khashoggi Way. In October 2018 he entered the Saudi consulate and was brutally murdered by government agents, sparking worldwide outrage," Washington DC Council President Phil Mendelson wrote in a Twitter post. He further stated that Khashoggi was a staunch supporter of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law through his journalism. 

A 'Jamal Khashoggi Way' sign board was unveiled directly in front of the embassy's main entrance, with members of the DC Council in attendance on Wednesday, June 15.

In a separate tweet, Mendelson emphasised that society cannot function efficiently without a free and fair press. "By designating the street fronting of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia after Jamal Khashoggi, the District is creating a memorial in his honour that cannot be covered up or repressed," he added. 

Last year in 2021, the DC Council unanimously voted to rename a one-block stretch of the street after Khashoggi. According to reports, the renaming is purely ceremonial, as evident by the brown street sign rather than the typical green, and will have no bearing on the embassy's mailing address. Moreover, the street renaming was largely a formalisation of a long-running activist-led movement. Local activist Claude Taylor had begun posting realistic-looking Jamal Khashoggi street signs across the city, including outside the Saudi embassy, shortly after the journalist's assassination. 

Khashoggi's Turkish fiancee could not attend renaming event

Although Hatice Cengiz, Khashoggi's Turkish fiancee, could not attend the renaming event, her statement was read aloud. She fiercely slammed the Biden administration for "placing oil over values and expediency over principles" in her statement.

"Can you at least ask where is Jamal’s body?" Cengiz said, urging President Biden to raise the question when he meets the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, The Associated Press (AP) reported.

Meanwhile, White House press secretary Karine Jean Pierre did not specify whether President Biden would bring up Khashoggi's case when he meets Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman in July. 

Jamal Khashoggi's killing

It is pertinent to mention here that Saudi-born US-based journalist Khashoggi was killed on 2 October 2018, after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. He had reportedly entered the consulate to receive documents that would permit him to marry his Turkish fiancee. Khashoggi was writing opinion columns critical of the Saudi authorities prior to his assassination.

According to Turkish officials, Khashoggi had written critically about Saudi Arabia’s crown prince and was killed by a team of Saudi agents. Later, a report was released by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) wherein it was outlined that Khashoggi was killed and mutilated on the orders of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

(Image: AP)

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