December 04, 2018

To punish the Saudis, protect the Jamal Khashoggis still at work

By Vance Serchuk

Senate leaders who emerged from a closed-door briefing by CIA Director Gina Haspel on Tuesday were unequivocal: Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was directly involved in the murder of Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi on Oct. 2 at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. The debate between Congress and the Trump administration will now intensify over various potential forms of retaliation against Riyadh, such as targeted sanctions and limiting military assistance.

But one straightforward response to this appalling crime should be undertaken immediately: increasing U.S. support for the world’s remaining Jamal Khashoggis — namely, the courageous but increasingly embattled Arab journalists, academics, rights activists and public intellectuals who risk their lives in pursuit of a better Middle East.

There are hundreds such individuals in the Middle East today who seek to expose corruption and advocate fundamental liberties such as exercising freedom of expression. They persist despite intensified threats directed against not only them but also their loved ones. Some have been driven into exile, as Khashoggi was, but even abroad, many continue to be targeted.

The United States can do a great deal more to help and protect these people.

Read the full article in The Washington Post.

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