World, Americas

US: Candlelight vigil held to remember Saudi journalist

'We stand here tonight to remind the world we will not rest until there is justice for his murder,' says CPJ official

Servet Gunerigok   | 03.10.2019
US: Candlelight vigil held to remember Saudi journalist A group of people hold banners and candles in front of Saudi Arabia's Embassy in Washington as they gather to commemorate the first anniversary of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's murder, in Washington, United States on October 02, 2019. ( Yasin Öztürk - Anadolu Agency )

WASHINGTON 

A candlelight vigil was held Wednesday in Washington, D.C. to mark the first anniversary of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's murder.

The vigil outside the Saudi embassy was organized by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) organization along with Reporters Without Borders, Pen America and Amnesty International, among others.

Speaking at the event, Courtney Radsch, the advocacy director for the CPJ, said the planned brutal execution happened because Khashoggi had been publicly critical of the Saudi regime.

"Now it has been a year since his murder and no one has been brought to justice," said Radsch, who criticized U.S. President Donald Trump over his inaction in the wake of the murder.

"Trump views Saudi Arabia and [Saudi Crown Prince] Mohammad bin Salman as two valuable business partners, and this inaction has sent a message to governments around the world that killing a journalist is acceptable. It is not," she said.

"We stand here tonight to recognize the loss of a great journalist and remind the world we will not rest until there is justice for his murder.”

Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Maryland Democrat, called Khashoggi's killing "a political hit by a tyrant."

"People of the world will never forget the murder and who killed him," said Raskin.

Khashoggi, a U.S. resident and columnist for The Washington Post newspaper, was killed and dismembered on Oct. 2, 2018 after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, where he was making arrangements for his wedding.

The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) assessed that bin Salman ordered Khashoggi’s murder. UN expert Agnes Callamard has described his death as a “premeditated execution” and called for bin Salman and other high-ranking Saudis to be investigated.

Officials in Riyadh, who initially said Khashoggi had left the premises unharmed, said the journalist was killed in a rogue operation that did not involve bin Salman. Activists have called for accountability in Khashoggi’s death.

Radsch said the public deserves to know the truth about Khashoggi's murder and governments around the world must know the murder of journalists will not go unpunished.

Earlier in the day at the same spot, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Code Pink, Nonviolence International and American Muslims for Palestine held a news conference to commemorate Khashoggi's murder.

A protester wore a mask depicting bin Salman and held up his hands, which were painted with fake blood to protest the murder.

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