Jamal Khashoggi given global press freedom award
MANILA, Philippines – Slain Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi has been awarded posthumously the celebrated Golden Pen of Freedom, which annually honors an individual who has upheld press freedom.
"The award…recognized Mr Khashoggi's long-standing commitment — despite great personal sacrifice and ultimately fatal consequences —to speaking truth to power by exercising his right to freedom of expression through unflinching, quality journalism," said the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) in a statement on Saturday, June 1.
Khashoggi spent his last days as a columnist and contributor for the Washington Post, criticizing the government of Saudi Arabia and its crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman.
He disappeared on October 2, 2018, at a Saudi consulate in Instanbul, Turkey, as he was collecting documents for his marriage with his Turskish fiancee, Hatice Cengiz.
For weeks, the the Saudi government denied knowledge of Khashoggi's disappearance, even claiming that the columnist walked out just an hour after he entered.
But on October 20, 2018, state television reported that Khashoggi was murdered inside the consulate. (READ: Jamal Khashoggi: From Saudi royal insider to open critic)
More than a month later, Saudi Arabia's attorney general said Khashoggi was murdered with a lethal injection inside their consulate. Some 11 people inside or connected to the Saudi government have been charged for the journalist's killing.
Khashoggi's has turned into a resounding tale for journalists worldwide who face oppression from their governments for pursuing uncompromising and critical reportage.
In 2018, the World Editors Forum awarded the Golden Pen of Freedom to Rappler's Maria Ressa.
"We stand for a united effort among the global media to hold tyrants and governments accountable for their actions to suppress free speech and inhibit the growth of free societies for all their people," Dave Callaway, World Editors Forum president, said in his speech presenting the award for Khashoggi. – Rappler.com