Rabat – The Washington Post on January 10 announced its plans to launch an Arabic language editorial page, vowing to honor the memory and legacy of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Before his murder on October 2 in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Khashoggi, who was on self-imposed exile in the US, wrote columns for the American newspaper, covering Saudi Arabian politics and wider geopolitical issues in the Arab world. Khashoggi was a strong critic of the Saudi regime, calling out its repressive and reform averse politics.
The Post’s statement noted that while the newspaper’s move is meant to broaden their outreach, the outlet also felt a sense of responsibility to continue Khashoggi’s legacy.
Part of the statement read, “This page will make it easier for more readers to access free and independent commentary about the cultural and political topics that most impact them. The importance of this has become more evident since the murder of our own colleague Jamal Khashoggi, who saw very clearly the need for a forum such as this.”
While Saudi Arabia has always had dubious human rights records, with a number advocacy groups reporting on the Riyadh’s crackdown on dissent and freedom of expression, the death of Khashoggi brought an unprecedented global focus on Saudi actions.
Following Khashoggi’s murder, numerous voices have called for the diplomatic boycott of Saudi Arabia.
One important post-Khashoggi development has been the increasing isolation of the Saudi crown prince Mohamed bin Salman, who is reported to have sponsored the “hit-and-dispose” crew which flew in Istanbul to kill the journalist.
The Post said its move aims to bring together different voices and perspectives on “the most pressing issues” affecting the region.