A new video featuring well-known journalists from across the globe spotlights the last column written by Jamal Khashoggi and calls "for truth and accountability" for their murdered Saudi Arabian peer.
Released Monday by Amnesty International, the three-minute video leads off with words from Khashoggi's editor at the Washington Post, Karen Attiah. She says of his last column, which she received a day after Khashoggi was reported missing, "We felt that releaing it after his death will remind the world of his commitment and passion for freedom in the Arab world and the greater world as well."
Among the journalists reading portions of that last column, both in English and Arabic, are Mehdi Hasan of Al-Jazeera English, Kareem Shaheen of the Guardian, Naomi Klein of The Intercept, and Hamid Mir of Pakistan's Geo News.
"The Arab world was ripe with hope during the spring of 2011," Hasan says, reading from Khashoggi's last column, "What the Arab World Needs Most Is Free Expression."
"Journalists, academics, and the general population were brimming with expectations of a bright and free Arab society within their respective countries. They expected to be emancipated from the hegemony of their governments and the consistent interventions and censorship of information. These expectations were quickly shattered," Hasan says.
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With the video, added Kumi Naidoo, secretary general of Amnesty International, in a press statement, "we pay tribute to Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist who was killed for the words he wrote. We will continue his fight for freedom of expression and human rights in Saudi Arabia and beyond. And we will continue to campaign for truth and accountability for his horrific murder, by those who planned, ordered, and executed it.”
The human rights organization is also urging people to build pressure on United Nations Secretary General António Guterres to launch an independent investigation into Khashoggi's fate. Its petition warns, "For activists and dissidents in Saudi Arabia and the world over, the disappearance and possible murder of Khashoggi means that the hope of a safe place abroad is diminishing."
"Without an independent investigation," the petition concludes, "we may never get the full truth about what happened to Jamal."
In a press release earlier this month, Robert Mahoney, deputy executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, called "U.N. involvement ... the best guarantee against a Saudi whitewash or attempts by other governments to sweep the issue under the carpet to preserve lucrative business ties with Riyadh."
Apart from "the possible extrajudicial execution" of Khashoggi, the kingdom is linked to numerous human rights violations, as Amnesty recently enumerated, including its role in fueling the devastating war in Yemen, a brutal crackdown on other journalists as well as activists and academics, widespread use of torture against detainees, and extreme discrimination against women.