WASHINGTON — Murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi was a martyr but not a radical who
wanted the Saudi people to have more freedom, politicians and friends said at a memorial service
Khashoggi’s fianceé, Hatice Cengiz, in a pre-recorded video message, urged those at the service
to stand up to the Saudi government in seeking justice for Khashoggi.
The service took place in Washington across the Potomac River from Khashoggi’s home in a
Virginia suburb just one month after his murder inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.
Saudi officials originally said he left the consulate alive, but now say he was killed in a rogue
operation. Turkish leaders say he was strangled and dismembered.
“We’re taught that the best of martyrs is a man that would stand, take truth to power, will call for
justice and will give his life, the ultimate sacrifice.” said Khashoggi’s friend, Dr. Esam Omeish.
“The remembrance of Jamal resonates with every atom of our soul.”
Khasshogi, a columnist for The Washington Post, was remembered as moderate who pushed for
democratic reform in Saudi Arabia, a nation he believed was suppressing freedom of press and
“Jamal was not a radical. He didn’t advocate the overthrow of his government,” recalled Rep.
Gerry Connolly, R-Va. “He wanted to loosen up Saudi’s society. He wanted more freedom for
people to read the truth, to hear the truth, to live their lives in in a freer way.”
His friends said they believed Khasshogi was killed because his ideas were both reformist and
“He wasn’t someone that could be dismissed easily. He was someone who understood the
kingdom,” said Daniel Balson, director for advocacy at Amnesty International. “As a loyal
Saudi, he was determined to pursue these reforms. He was still determined to change the way
Cengiz, in her video, called on Americans and President Donald Trump to support Turkey’s
efforts to apply global pressure on Saudi Arabia to return her fiancé’s remains.
“Even though a month has passed since his murder, his body has still not been giving to his
loved ones and his freedom of prayer has still not taken place,” said Cengiz. “This is the smallest
thing that one can do after a loved one has passed in the religion of Islam and we still haven’t
been able to do that and our pain is still as fresh as the first day.”
The Justice for Jamal Campaign, which organized Friday’s memorial, intends to find
Khasshoggi’s body and discover who committed his murder.
“We want to bring closure to his family,” said Mongi Dhaouadi, an organizer with the Justice for
Jamal Campaign. “After that, Justice for Jamal for us means that his voice will be heard and that
his vision will be realized.”