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.
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.