Washington Post publish Khashoggi's final column

Washington Post publish Khashoggi's final column
Khashoggi's final article has been published by the Washington Post, where the journalist laments the falling press freedoms in the Arab world the day, on the day he went missing.
3 min read
18 October, 2018
Khashoggi's final article [Washington Post]

Jamal Khashoggi's final column for the Washington Post was published on Thursday, with the Saudi journalist's final words directed against rising censorship in the Arab world.

Khasghoggi disappeared on 2 October when he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to complete some routine paperwork.

Turkish intelligence have said they have audio and video tapes indicating that Khashoggi was brutally tortured and murdered in the diplomatic compound.

It is believed he was killed due to his criticism of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's regime and the growing suppression in the kingdom.

The op-ed entitled "Jamal Khashoggi: What the Arab world needs most is free expression" was penned the day the journalist went missing, and mirrors the journalist's commitment to press freedoms.

Global Opinions Editor Karen Attiah wrote a note before the column begins, stating that the Washington Post held off publishing the piece due to hopes Khashoggi might emerge from the confusing situation alive.

Given the stories to emerge in media over the past two weeks, Attiah said she is now resigned to the fact that this will not happen.

"This is the last piece of his I will edit for The Post. This column perfectly captures his commitment and passion for freedom in the Arab world. A freedom he apparently gave his life for. I will be forever grateful he chose The Post as his final journalistic home one year ago and gave us the chance to work together."

Khashoggi's swan song begins by noting an index from Freedom House on press freedoms, which indicates that most of the Arab world is "not free".

"As a result, Arabs living in these countries are either uninformed or misinformed. They are unable to adequately address, much less publicly discuss, matters that affect the region and their day-to-day lives," Khashoggi writes.

"A state-run narrative dominates the public psyche, and while many do not believe it, a large majority of the population falls victim to this false narrative. Sadly, this situation is unlikely to change."

Khashoggi goes on to write of an increase in restrictions faced by journalists in the Arab world, with media workers arrested in Saudi Arabia, and elsewhere, with outright censorship in Egypt.

He said that the clampdown coincides with counter-revolutionary efforts by certain states (likely referring to Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt) following a brief period of hope for freedom-loving people in the Arab world.

"These expectations were quickly shattered; these societies either fell back to the old status quo or faced even harsher conditions than before."

He praised the efforts of certain countries in the region, to oppose the "old Arab order's" efforts to suppress information and keep the people shackled.

Khashoggi also praises media - such as the Washington Post - that continue to hold people in power to account and publish his columns into Arabic, with the hope this will encourage critical thinking in the region.

With this, he ends the column by articulating his hopes for the Arab world.

"The Arab world needs a modern version of the old transnational media so citizens can be informed about global events. More important, we need to provide a platform for Arab voices. We suffer from poverty, mismanagement and poor education.

"Through the creation of an independent international forum, isolated from the influence of nationalist governments spreading hate through propaganda, ordinary people in the Arab world would be able to address the structural problems their societies face."

Khashoggi was one of the Arab world's best-known journalists and opposed efforts from all sides to silence press in the region.