His name was Jamal Khashoggi. And that was the title of his final piece.
Jamal Khashoggi disappeared on the 2nd of October of this year.
He has been a vocal advocate for human rights, having criticised: the Saudi Kingdom’s censorship of the media, the Saudi war on Yemen and the arrest of women’s rights activists. In a column written in April, Khashoggi explained:
‘Women today should have the same rights as men. And all citizens should have the right to speak their minds without fear of imprisonment.’
This man has not only worked for The Post, The Saudi Gazette, Al Madina, Arab News, Al Watan and the Saudi Arabian Intelligence Agency, but he has worked for the people. Jamal Khashoggi refused to remain silenced, and spoke out against corruption, against discrimination, and against oppression. It cost him his job twice. He left the country in ‘voluntary exile’, and was banned from appearing in the media. But did this stop him from reporting the truth? No, not for a moment.
But then they decided to silence him. Not by taking away his right to appear in the media, but by taking away his right to life.
On Wednesday, his final piece was published. (click here to read it).
And, below, is the message the editor left for his readers.
No editor should ever have to write such a note. It is truly devastating to citizens and journalists alike. However, it should also anger us. Khashoggi has fought so hard to expose corruption, lies and criminality, and has brought this information to the attention of the vast majority of the globe. It would have been so easy for him to comply with the laws in place; it would have been safer to succumb to the king; to give up his right to freedom of speech. But he didn’t. We must be angry. Nobody should ever be hurt for doing what is right; one of the core principals of journalism is, of course, to report stories that are ‘in the public interest’. Khashoggi’s works couldn’t comply with this principal any more if he tried.
This is a man whose sole target was the pursuit and the publishing of the truth. Jamal Khashoggi was an ally. An advocate. And everything a journalist should be: honest, determined, and brave.
The Saudi Kingdom has not eradicated the risk of exposure, but has only proven how weak they are, and, frankly, how terrified they are of it.
Khashoggi states in his piece:
‘The Arab world is facing its own version of an Iron Curtain’
But, the Kingdom surely, cannot honestly think that murdering a reporter is going to reinforce this so called ‘curtain’. They could not be further from the truth. It will be damaged; over and over again, until it is destroyed, because if the Saudi Kingdom truly believes that the rest of the world is going to sit back and stop searching for the facts now that this heinous crime has taken place, they are so incredibly wrong. There is more to learn; it will be discovered, and, yes, it will be reported. Just watch.
But, once again, Trump has shown his ignorance in such matters.
Well, at least we can sleep easy knowing that they had nothing to do with it; it’s awfully good of Donald to recognise that all criminals who plead ‘not guilty’ in court are always telling the truth.
Many were quick to note that Trump has got a fair amount of business with Saudi Arabia, which he avidly denies has anything to do with his support of the Saudi Kingdom. In fact, he claims he has ‘ no financial interests in Saudi Arabia’.
Never did I expect to see the day on which Fox News would contradict Trump. But, here it is the tweet that does so.
But it is important to move the focus away from a man such as Trump, and to finish the post by focusing on Mr Khashoggi.
Thank you for your contribution towards society, the media, and the press. Thank you for your hard work, your determination and your courage.
And, here’s to ‘free expression’.
credit: Alex Fine, Washington Post