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On Grim Anniversary of Khashoggi Murder, Activists Project Slain Saudi’s Image From Coast to Coast – Brett Wilkins (10/06/2020)

Human rights activists with the groups Freedom First and Amnesty International USA  launched a guerrilla protest on Friday to mark the second anniversary of the assassination of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, projecting the slain Saudi’s image on the Saudi Arabian Embassy and other prominent buildings in Washington, D.C. and other cities. 

Freedom First, a campaign of the Freedom Initiative, said Friday’s demonstration was meant “to draw attention to the individuals unfairly detained, prosecuted, and tortured under the leadership of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.”

In addition to the nation’s capital, activists projected Khashoggi’s image on buildings and landmarks in cities including New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Miami.

“Even when the lights go out and the cameras turn to the next big story, we’ll still be here, working tirelessly to get justice for our friend, Jamal,” said Mohamed Soltan from the Freedom Initiative in a statement. “[We’ll] make sure that the horrendous crime of his assassination doesn’t pass with impunity.” 

Others took to social media to remember the murdered journalist: 

Philippe Nassif from Amnesty International USA vowed that “on the anniversary of your assassination, we promise you, Jamal, to always tell your story and to fight tirelessly until justice and truth are served. Rest in peace.”

Along with the projections, the activists urged people to take the Freedom Pledge, “vowing their dedication to spread awareness of universal human rights and to challenge governments who silence the truth.”

The CIA and other intelligence and government agencies around the world concluded that bin Salman personally ordered Saudi agents to kidnap, assassinate, and dismember Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on October 2, 2018. Despite this, and despite having one of the world’s worst overall human rights records, the U.S. remains a steadfast ally of the theocratic monarchy that rules Saudi Arabia with an iron fist.

Last year, President Donald Trump vetoed a bipartisan bill passed by Congress that would have ended U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. More recently, the administration drew bipartisan pushback for its plan to sell more than $8 billion worth of American arms to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan.