On October 2, 2019, CPJ marked the one-year anniversary of the murder of Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi with a candlelight vigil in Washington, D.C., outside the Saudi Arabian embassy. On September 26, CPJ filed a brief in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia asking the court to release documents regarding Khashoggi’s murder and the “duty to warn” obligations.
The CIA concluded with high confidence—and the U.S. Senate unanimously believes—that Khashoggi’s murder was committed by Saudi officials inside their consulate in Istanbul at the behest of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. So far, President Donald Trump’s administration has refused to pursue justice. The U.S. House of Representatives passed bipartisan legislation requiring the administration to submit to Congress a public report presenting all relevant evidence and a full list of those believed to be involved. The Senate must act on the findings. At the United Nations, a comprehensive report by Agnes Callamard, special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, concluded that the murder violated six international laws and that “[Khashoggi’s] killing was the result of elaborate planning involving extensive coordination and significant human and financial resources.” At the U.N. Human Rights Council in June, CPJ, in coordination with several other leading advocacy groups, highlighted recommendations from the report and discussed how to enhance the U.N. response to states that target journalists. Meanwhile, in Saudi Arabia, the regime continues its decades-long repression of the media.