Murdered Saudi journalist Khashoggi's Democracy for the Arab World Now group set to launch

Murdered Saudi journalist Khashoggi's Democracy for the Arab World Now group set to launch
Jamal Khashoggi's dream of establishing a pro-democracy movement for the Arab world has finally been realised.
2 min read
29 September, 2020
Khashoggi was murdered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul [Getty]
A pro-democracy activist group dedicated to promoting human rights and democracy in the Arab world will launch in Washington on Tuesday, two years after the murder of its founder, Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN) will continue the dream of Khashoggi to unite Arab activists across the region and bring to light abuses committed by Arab governments considered close to Washington.

"The fundamental premise that democracy and human rights are the only solution for stability, security and dignity in the Middle East is 100 percent Jamal's point of view," Sarah Leah Whitson, the group's executive director told The New York Times.

"That is what he wanted this organisation to be about."

Khashoggi had worked towards the estabablishing and launching DAWN before his murder at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Khashoggi had fled Saudi Arabia for the US after criticism of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman landed him in trouble, before being lured into the consulate in Turkey where he was murdered.

DAWN was registered in the US in 2018, shortly before Khashoggi's death, which intelligence agencies allege was ordered by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Since then, allies of the slain journalists have worked hard on making Khashoggi's dream of establishing a pan-Arab pro-democracy movement a reality.

Associates and friends of Khashoggi raised funds to help establish DAWN, which will bring to light human rights abuses committed by pro-US Arab regime, such as Egypt, the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

"Forget about doing good. Stop doing bad, stop arming, stop aiding these abusive governments, because that taints Americans," Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of DAWN, told the US daily.

Fadoua Massat, DAWN's Arabic media director, said the organisation will look to name-and-shame mid-level officials from Arab countries involved in human rights abuses and stifling democracy.

"These governments always say it is not the king, the crown prince or the interior minister, it is the people around them... We want to get the names of the people who are behind these violations," Massat said.

The group will also publish articles from activists and journalists, as well as establish a Khashoggi Index, tracking the role of governments in promoting or hindering democracy in the Arab world.

The group will officially launch in Washington at 10 a.m. EST.

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