Status: 06/16/2022 10:15 AM
A month before US President Biden’s planned trip to Saudi Arabia, Washington named the street after the assassinated Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Street location not selected at random.
The US capital, Washington, renamed the street opposite the Saudi embassy to “Jamal Khashoggi Way” – after a journalist assassinated in 2018 on behalf of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, according to the US Secret Service. The street will serve as a memorial, “so that Jamal Hashukji’s memory can never be suffocated,” Washington City Council Chairman Phil Mendelson said at the ceremony.
The street was renamed the day after US President Joe Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia was announced in mid-July. However, it is rather symbolic. Because instead of the green sign that is common in Washington, the name of Jamal Khashoggi is on the brown. This will not change the postal address of the Saudi embassy. However, the sign should remain a permanent monument.
This is not the first time Washington City Council has used street names in international protests. The Russian embassy is located on Boris Nemtsov Square, named after an opposition politician who was killed in 2015 under sight of the Kremlin.
“The murder of our friend”
Sarah Leah Whitson of Dawn, a pro-Arab pro-democracy organization founded by Khashoggi before his death, saw the action as a warning to the Saudi leadership in Riyadh. Khashoggi had to die “because he dared to resist the tyranny of Muhammad bin Salman.”
Our intention is to remind people who are hiding behind this door that we hold them responsible for the murder of our friend.
But Whitson also addressed critical words to the US government: she accused President Biden’s government of “shameless surrender” with regard to his trip to Saudi Arabia.
Tawakkol Karman, a Yemeni activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2011, also said at the ceremony that the president’s upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia means “Biden has given up his commitment to defend human rights around the world.”
The energy crisis is changing the situation
In fact, Biden’s actions on Saudi Arabia have changed in recent months: after taking office, Biden’s government published a news report that Saudi Crown Prince and de facto ruler had approved the assassination of Khashukji in 2018. Riyadh rejects this, assuring that the Saudi perpetrators acted on their own. In the wake of the global energy crisis caused by the Ukrainian war, US President Biden recently tried to improve relations with an oil-rich country.
Khashoggi assassinated at the Istanbul Consulate
On October 2, 2018, Khashoggi went to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to collect documents for his marriage to a Turkish fiancée. He never came out. After a long denial of leadership in Riyadh under international pressure, he admitted that Hashukji had been killed at the consulate in an unsuccessful attempt to bring him back to his homeland.
The CIA later concluded that he had been assassinated and cut at the behest of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Khashoggi worked in American exile as a columnist for the Washington Post and wrote critical texts about the Saudi royal family.