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Washington Post publishes 'last piece' by missing Saudi journalist Khashoggi

The Washington Post has published what the newspaper describes as the "last piece" written by missing Saudi ...

Posted: Oct 18, 2018 8:44 PM
Updated: Oct 18, 2018 8:44 PM

The Washington Post has published what the newspaper describes as the "last piece" written by missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was allegedly killed and dismembered in his country's consulate in Istanbul earlier this month.

In a note at the top of the column, published late Wednesday, Post Global Opinions editor Karen Attiah wrote that she "held off publishing it because we hoped Jamal would come back to us."

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"Now I have to accept: That is not going to happen," she said. "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."

In the piece, Khashoggi bemoaned the lack of free expression in the Arab world, leaving the majority of its population "unable to adequately address, much less publicly discuss, matters that affect the region and their day-to-day lives."

He contrasted the current situation with the sentiment felt by many during the Arab Spring, when they hoped to be "emancipated from the hegemony of their governments and the consistent interventions and censorship of information," only to have those expectations dashed as revolutions -- both peaceful and violent -- failed or were crushed by outside intervention.

One of the biggest players in pushing back against the tide or Arab populist revolt was the Saudi regime itself, which sent tanks into Bahrain, embraced tottering dictators, and stamped down on any signs of dissent at home.

Some observers had seen in Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (known as MBS) an alternative avenue to reform in the kingdom. New York Times writer Tom Friedman, who this week was forced to defend his previous cheerleading of MBS, wrote in November last year that the kingdom was "going through its own Arab Spring, Saudi style."

Khashoggi, who was allegedly killed by members of the crown prince's inner circle, had a more measured view of his country's de facto ruler. In a column from September last year -- one of several that allegedly angered Riyadh and made it impossible for Khashoggi to return to Saudi Arabia -- he wrote that MBS had "promised an embrace of social and economic reform," but instead pursued a crackdown on dissent.

"He spoke of making our country more open and tolerant and promised that he would address the things that hold back our progress, such as the ban on women driving," Khashoggi said. "But all I see now is the recent wave of arrests."

In that column, he also criticized the tightening space for free speech in the kingdom, and recounted how he was fired from a newspaper and forced off Twitter for being too critical of government policies.

According to CNN National Security Analyst Peter Bergen, MBS has moved Saudi from a consensus based absolute monarchy -- where criticism was limited but not unheard of -- "toward a totalitarian dictatorship in which all aspects of society are controlled by him and all forms of dissent are stifled."

This was a topic Khashoggi had written about as well. As a member of the Saudi elite and former adviser to the royal family who was still influential inside the Kingdom, Khashoggi was becoming more and more of a rarity under MBS, and his criticisms may have stung more than those of a regular, unconnected dissident, and sparked a more extreme reaction.

In his final column for the Post, he warned 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."

Khashoggi's answer to the paucity of adversarial media in Arab countries is to fund and promote a transnational media organization.

"We suffer from poverty, mismanagement and poor education," Khashoggi said. "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."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 314509

Reported Deaths: 7247
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21626259
Hinds20359415
Harrison17934309
Rankin13634278
Jackson13447246
Madison10099217
Lee9980174
Jones8381163
Forrest7683152
Lauderdale7191241
Lowndes6401147
Lamar623086
Lafayette6200118
Washington5339134
Bolivar4802132
Oktibbeha462798
Panola4588107
Pearl River4512146
Marshall4443103
Warren4393121
Pontotoc420772
Monroe4113133
Union411076
Neshoba4031176
Lincoln3968110
Hancock379386
Leflore3497125
Sunflower336090
Tate334084
Pike3325105
Scott315973
Alcorn313368
Yazoo311669
Itawamba300477
Copiah297065
Coahoma295479
Simpson295288
Tippah288768
Adams286882
Prentiss279760
Marion269280
Leake268373
Wayne262641
Grenada261487
Covington259681
George248048
Newton246861
Winston227281
Tishomingo226967
Jasper221148
Attala214473
Chickasaw207857
Holmes189173
Clay185454
Stone182833
Tallahatchie178841
Clarke178080
Calhoun170832
Yalobusha164338
Smith162434
Walthall133945
Greene130633
Lawrence128624
Montgomery126942
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123142
Carroll121829
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107133
Tunica105726
Claiborne102430
Benton99525
Humphreys96733
Kemper95828
Franklin83823
Quitman80916
Choctaw76418
Wilkinson67331
Jefferson65728
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 532895

Reported Deaths: 11001
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson771431528
Mobile41089808
Madison34837505
Tuscaloosa25810454
Montgomery24355588
Shelby23730249
Baldwin21191309
Lee15892171
Calhoun14522316
Morgan14324279
Etowah13861353
Marshall12250223
Houston10581281
Elmore10060205
Limestone9986151
Cullman9705194
St. Clair9702243
Lauderdale9441242
DeKalb8846187
Talladega8255176
Walker7246277
Autauga6938108
Jackson6815112
Blount6694137
Colbert6310134
Coffee5524119
Dale4850111
Russell443238
Chilton4308112
Franklin426282
Covington4136118
Tallapoosa4039152
Escambia393977
Chambers3578123
Dallas3557152
Clarke351161
Marion3130101
Pike311377
Lawrence300798
Winston275673
Bibb261564
Geneva251477
Marengo249664
Pickens234761
Barbour231756
Hale223277
Butler216469
Fayette212562
Henry189044
Cherokee184745
Randolph181742
Monroe178040
Washington167639
Macon159950
Clay156857
Crenshaw152757
Cleburne149141
Lamar142935
Lowndes139053
Wilcox127130
Bullock122841
Conecuh110629
Coosa107928
Perry107826
Sumter104832
Greene92534
Choctaw61124
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