DC to rename street in front of Saudi embassy after Jamal Khashoggi

Khashoggi, a journalist and vocal critic of Saudi policy, was murdered in 2018 in what is widely considered to have been a hit orchestrated by Saudi Arabia.

A demonstrator holds picture of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a protest in front of Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, October 5, 2018 (photo credit: OSMAN ORSAL/REUTERS)
A demonstrator holds picture of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a protest in front of Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, October 5, 2018
(photo credit: OSMAN ORSAL/REUTERS)

Municipal legislators in Washington passed a bill Tuesday to name a portion of the street outside Saudi Arabia's embassy in the US capital after Jamal Khashoggi, Washington Post journalist and Saudi critic murdered in 2018 at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, US media reported.

The bill titled the "Jamal Khashoggi Way Designation Act," passed by unanimous vote, and will see the 600 block of New Hampshire Avenue renamed Jamal Khashoggi Way in a public ceremony in January, NPR reported.

The renaming of the street will be a reminder of the many dangers journalists all over the world face, DC councilmember Brooke Pinto said in a statement, according to NPR.

“Jamal Khashoggi knew that by shining a light on Saudi Arabia and seeking truth, he risked his freedom and, indeed, his life,” Pinto continued. “This name change demonstrates the values of District residents of a free and independent press.”

Khashoggi was a US resident and a vocal critic of Saudi policy. He was brutally murdered on October 2, 2018, in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul where he had gone to obtain documents for his impending wedding. His body was reportedly dismembered and removed from the building. 

 SAUDI CROWN Prince  Mohammed bin Salman attends  a session of the Shura Council  in Riyadh, 2019. Rosenberg met  personally with MBS.   (credit: BANDAR ALGALOUD/COURTESY OF SAUDI ROYAL COURT/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS) SAUDI CROWN Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends a session of the Shura Council in Riyadh, 2019. Rosenberg met personally with MBS. (credit: BANDAR ALGALOUD/COURTESY OF SAUDI ROYAL COURT/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

It is believed by many that the killing was orchestrated by Saudi Arabia, specifically by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a suspicion backed up by a February 2021 US intelligence report. However, the prince has consistently denied these allegations and the country rejected this report.

Due to these allegations, though, naming the street in front of the Saudi embassy after a journalist and critic they are accused of having silenced is no coincidence.

“Renaming the street in front of the Saudi embassy in honor of Khashoggi will be an important gesture in support of accountability for his brutal murder,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), a human rights organization Khashoggi founded shortly before his death, according to NPR.