WaPo Reluctantly Runs Khashoggi's Final Column

He warns that Arab governments are silencing the media
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 18, 2018 3:29 AM CDT
Turkish police barriers block the road leading to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.   (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
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(Newser) – Jamal Khashoggi's final column for the Washington Post "perfectly captures his commitment and passion for freedom in the Arab world"—"a freedom he apparently gave his life for," writes Post Global Opinions editor Karen Attiah. She says the newspaper delayed publishing it because they hoped Khashoggi would return and edit it with her, but she now has to accept that is not going to happen. In the column, Khashoggi laments that Tunisia is the only country in the Arab world that was classified in a recent report as "free" (in terms of everything from the press to elections). In the others, he writes, censorship leaves citizens unable to "adequately address, much less publicly discuss, matters that affect the region and their day-to-day lives."

Khashoggi writes of the dashed hopes of the Arab Spring and of attacks on the press that failed to draw an international backlash, including the jailing of a fellow Saudi journalist. "As a result, Arab governments have been given free rein to continue silencing the media at an increasing rate," writes Khashoggi, who is believed to have been tortured and murdered inside Saudi Arabia's Istanbul consulate. He warns that the "Arab world is facing its own version of an Iron Curtain, imposed not by external actors but through domestic forces vying for power" and calls for the creation of an independent international forum so that the voices of ordinary people in the Arab world can be heard. Click for the full column. (Turkish officials have confirmed gruesome details of Khashoggi's death.)

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