Connolly, Kaine, Warner Introduce Resolution to Commemorate 5th Anniversary of Jamal Khashoggi’s Murder
Washington, September 30, 2023
Tags: Foreign Policy
Today, Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA) and Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) led 47 of their colleagues, including Senator Mark R. Warner (D-VA), in introducing a resolution commemorating the 5th anniversary of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder in an action directed by Saudi government officials. Kaine, Connolly, and Warner represented Khashoggi, a Northern Virginia resident, in Congress.
“Five years ago, my constituent Jamal Khashoggi was brutally murdered and dismembered at the direction of the Saudi Crown Prince,” said Connolly. “Jamal was a journalist and a dissident. His only crime was wanting the best for his home country and its people. Today, five years after his death, we remember his courage and conviction and we pledge to honor his legacy with action – including by passing my Protection of Saudi Dissidents Act and seeing it signed into law.”
“The horrific murder of Virginia resident Jamal Khashoggi by the Saudi government five years ago demonstrated a level of brutality and dishonesty that cannot be tolerated,” said Kaine. “Authoritarian governments, like Saudi Arabia and many others around the world, seek to muzzle the press to prevent the truth from coming to light. Together let us continue the fight for accountability in the wake of this murder and recommit ourselves to ensuring that courageous reporters and people everywhere know that we are walking alongside them in their struggle for the truth.”
“As we mark five years since the brutal killing of journalist, dissident, and Virginia resident Jamal Khashoggi, we remember his work advocating for fundamental freedoms. In honoring his legacy, it’s incumbent upon us to call attention to other Virginians who, both directly and through family members, continue to be unjustly targeted and repressed for their convictions and advocacy,” said Warner.
Connolly has served as a tireless advocate for justice and accountability following the murder of his constituent, Jamal Khashoggi. He is the author of the Protection of Saudi Dissidents Act, which passed the House three separate times and is the only Saudi accountability legislation to receive overwhelming bipartisan support. In a March 2019 House Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing, Connolly slammed former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Trump Administration for covering up for the Crown Prince. Connolly has taken up the cause of Saudi dissidents and American citizens unjustly detained in Saudi Arabia, and he led 31 members of Congress in a letter to Secretary Blinken in support of a full review and assessment of the U.S.-Saudi relationship. Three months before his murder, Connolly dined with Khashoggi and discussed freedom of the press, advocating for reform from within the Arab world, and the inspiration he provided to his readers through his honesty and integrity.
Kaine has been repeatedly outspoken against the Saudi-sponsored murder of Khashoggi and has demanded accountability since 2018. Following a recommendation made by the United Nations, Kaine called on the FBI to open an investigation into the murder of Khashoggi in July 2019 after months of continued inaction by the Trump Administration. Last year, Kaine criticized the U.S. State Department’s decision to support Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s claim of sovereign immunity in a lawsuit brought by Khashoggi’s friends and family following the murder.
As the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Warner has been an outspoken advocate for Jamal Khashoggi ever since his 2018 disappearance, when he joined his colleagues in urging President Donald Trump to raise Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance with the Saudi government. Following reports of Mr. Khashoggi’s death, Sen. Warner expressed outrage at President Trump’s failure to hold Saudi Arabia accountable, and praised the declassification of the report on the murder by the Biden Administration. Since then, he has joined his colleagues in pushing for Saudi Arabia to drop false charges against Virginians.
The resolution is cosponsored by the following Senators: Richard Durbin (D-IL), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Chris Coons (D-DE), Peter Welch (D-VT), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Bernie Sanders (D-VT), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Cory Booker (D-NJ).
The resolution is cosponsored by the following Representatives: Don Beyer (D-VA), Bobby Scott (D-VA), Jennifer McClellan (D-VA), Jennifer Wexton (D-VA), Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), Dean Phillips (D-MN), Jim McGovern (D-MA), Adam Schiff (D-CA), André Carson (D-IN), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Bill Keating (D-MA), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Seth Moulton (D-MA), Alma Adams (D-NC), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Dina Titus (D-NV), Sara Jacobs (D-CA), Juan Vargas (D-CA), David Trone (D-MD), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), Stephen Lynch (D-MA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Joaquin Castro (D-TX), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Colin Allred (D-TX), Dwight Evans (D-PA), Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR).
Full text of the resolution is available here.