(Washington, D.C., December 6, 2021) — Earlier today, the D.C. Council voted and passed unanimously the Jamal Khashoggi Way Designation Act, a bill to designate as "Jamal Khashoggi Way" a portion of the street directly in front of the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington, D.C. The designation aims to memorialize the late founder of Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN) and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
"Renaming the street in front of the Saudi embassy in honor of Khashoggi will be an important gesture in support of accoun tability for his brutal murder," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Executive Director of Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), the human rights organization founded by Khashoggi four months before his murder. DAWN will continue to pursue justice for every person responsible for the crime—including MBS himself. 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 a 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."
"Jamal Khashoggi knew that by shining a light on Saudi Arabia and seeking truth, he risked his freedom and, indeed, his life," said D.C. Councilmember Brooke Pinto. "Journalists around the world and here in America face similar dangers every day, and we must never let those who seek to intimidate them succeed, because when journalism is under assault, our freedom and democracy are under assault. Freedom of the press is fundamental to our democracy, and promoting human rights where democracy does not exist was the mission of Khashoggi. Everyone who visits the Saudi embassy in Washington, DC will be reminded of Mr. Khashoggi's courage. This name change demonstrates the values of District residents of a free and independent press."
A Saudi-born journalist and resident of the D.C. metropolitan area, Khashoggi was brutally murdered at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on October 2, 2018. Multiple U.S. intelligence reports have concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) dispatched the 15-man hit squad that killed him. In her investigation of the murder, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard, found the State of Saudi Arabia responsible for the murder, calling upon the international community to ensure accountability for the crime and to memorialize Khashoggi through symbolic measures, such as events or awards in his honor.
The 600 block of New Hampshire Avenue NW, located between Virginia Avenue NW and F Street NW, will be designated as Jamal Khashoggi Way in a public ceremony next month. DAWN will send an announcement with additional information in the new year.