One year later, our murdered friend Jamal has been proved right

(Brian Stauffer for The Washington Post)

By Editorial Board
September 30, 2019

JAMAL KHASHOGGI never intended to be a dissident. For many years, he wrote for and edited newspapers in Saudi Arabia, and he served as an aide in Saudi embassies in Washington and London. What prompted him to leave the kingdom, and to begin writing columns for The Post, was the sharp increase in domestic repression under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — the “fear, intimidation, arrests and public shaming of intellectuals and religious leaders who dare to speak their minds,” as Khashoggi put it in his first Post op-ed, in September 2017.

For the next year, the then-58-year-old journalist jousted with the then-32-year-old Saudi ruler in the pages of The Post and on the Internet, where Khashoggi was assailed by the troll army controlled by Mohammed bin Salman’s top aide. Khashoggi challenged the crown prince not just on his persecution of critics, which he described as bound to undermine the new regime’s ambitions to modernize and revitalize the country. His columns also argued against Mohammed bin Salman’s reckless regional agenda — especially the war in Yemen, which the crown prince had launched while serving as defense minister. Khashoggi denounced the attempt to suppress democracy and free expression throughout the Middle East and to exclude Islamist parties from politics — a drive that was largely sponsored by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

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