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Washington Post launching Arabic editorial page in aftermath of Khashoggi murder

US newspaper plans to feature columns by writers around world, including some based in Middle East and North Africa
Jamal Khashoggi, Post columnist, was murdered inside Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October (AFP)

The Washington Post announced the launch of an Arabic-language editorial section in response to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The new page will feature columns by writers around the world, including some based in the Middle East and North Africa, the US newspaper said on Thursday.

“This page will make it easier for more readers to access free and independent commentary about the cultural and political topics that most impact them,” the Post’s editorial page editor Fred Hiatt said in a statement.

“The importance of this has become more evident since the murder of our own colleague Jamal Khashoggi, who saw very clearly the need for a forum such as this,” he added.

Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and regular Post contributor, was murdered and dismembered inside Saudi Arabia's Istanbul consulate last October.

MEE's ongoing coverage of the Jamal Khashoggi case

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Top Turkish and US officials, including the CIA, have concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was behind the killing, an accusation denied by the Saudi authorities, who have charged 11 people in connection with Khashoggi's murder.

The case has shaken US-Saudi relations, with all 100 US senators condemning bin Salman, known as MBS, in late 2018, when they passed a resolution saying he ordered the assassination.

Despite this, President Donald Trump has stood by his Saudi allies throughout the crisis, repeatedly citing Riyadh's denial of MBS's involvement and vowing to maintain Washington's strong ties to Riyadh.

Khashoggi's former editor at the Post, Karen Attiah, has since emerged as a leading voice in the fight for justice for the murdered journalist.

"The world's eyes are opening up to the brutality and repression that Saudi Arabia exacts on its citizens, even if they are abroad," she wrote on Twitter this week, pointing to Khashoggi as well as other Saudi rights defenders, including Loujain al-Hathloul, a women's rights activist and political prisoner.

She has also repeatedly called on the Trump administration to do more to hold the Saudi authorities accountable.

"I still struggle to find the words to describe seeing the Trump administration’s complete servitude to the regime that murdered #Khashoggi, and tried to cover it up," Attiah wrote on Tuesday.