‘Khashoggi Way’ opens in Washington, DC despite council opposition

#Khashoggi

Activists rename street outside Saudi embassy to honour the slain journalist who lived his last days in nearby northern Virginia

The sign went up outside the embassy on Tuesday (screengrab)
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Last update: 
Wednesday 5 December 2018 16:37 UTC
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Activists have put up a "Khashoggi Way" sign outside the Saudi embassy in Washington, DC on Tuesday in remembrance of the journalist murdered in Istanbul in October.

A neighbourhood advisory panel had decided unanimously earlier this month to name the street in honour of Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post and Middle East Eye columnist, who had been living in northern Virginia before he was killed.

But city council members in the US capital said it was out of the question because of a law in place prohibiting the renaming of public spaces for any person who has been dead for less than two years.

So the activists took it into their own hands and put the sign up anyway.

Claude Taylor, chair of Mad Dog PAC, an anti-Trump political action committee behind the signage, told Middle East Eye: “Trump and Secretary of State Pompeo have become complicit in the conspiracy by backing whatever latest cover story [Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman] puts out.

“We are calling attention to these facts to honour Jamal Khashoggi on the streets of Washington, DC and especially at the Saudi embassy," he said.

Khashoggi, a US resident, was murdered in the Saudi consulate in the Turkish capital on 2 October in an act that a Turkish source who has listened to a full audio recording told MEE took seven minutes.

After offering numerous contradictory explanations, Riyadh later said Khashoggi had been killed and his body dismembered when negotiations to persuade him to return to Saudi Arabia failed.

A CIA assessment has concluded that the crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, ordered his assasination. Trump has repeatedly cast doubts over that assessment and Saudi officials have repeatedly denied that MBS was involved in the murder or its subsequent cover-up.

In early November, Amnesty International also symbolically renamed the street outside the Saudi embassy in London "Khashoggi Street," to mark one month since the journalist was slain.

"The whole world has been shocked by this grotesque killing, and it's vital that we don't let the outrage fade away without justice being done," said Kate Allen, Amnesty International UK's director, in a statement.

The sign has some drawn fans on social media:

Taylor said that so far, he hasn't felt any backlash since the signs went up.

“Hundreds of people are stopping to take photos of the sign,” he told MEE. “We hope to make the street sign official. Ultimately, we want to help make sure everyone knows what a bloodthirsty despot MBS is and that the US has no moral standing in supporting such a villain - or in sending him arms to kill Yemeni children.

"We need to see Jamal Khashoggi's killers brought to justice - not only those who actually carried out the murder, but those who ordered it and knew it was about to happen."