Magnitsky Awards
Winner’s Bio

Jamal Khashoggi


Award Winner 2019

Courage Under Fire

Jamal Kahshoggi was an internationally renowned journalist, commentator and thinker.

As a prominent Saudi journalist, Khashoggi covered major stories, including the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the rise of the late al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, for various Saudi news organisations. He began his career as a correspondent for the English language Saudi Gazette.

Between 1987-90, he was a foreign correspondent for the pan-Arab Arabic daily Alsharq Alawsat and the Jeddah-based, English language daily Arab News. He became widely recognized for his coverage of The Afghan War and the first Gulf War (1990-91).

From 1990 to 1999, Jamal was foreign correspondent for the other prominent pan-Arab Arabic daily, Al-Hayat. There he reported on Afghanistan, Algeria, Lebanon, Sudan and various conflicts in the Middle East. As a result of his extensive experience, he became known as an expert in political Islam and related movements.

In June 2010, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal appointed Jamal to lead a new 24-hour Arabic news channel, Al-Arab. He launched the station in Manama, Bahrain, in 2015. On the air less than 11 hours, the government ordered Al-Arab to cease broadcasting.

In 2017, he was forced to leave Saudi Arabia to Washington, DC after the regime of King Salman silenced him from writing and threatened him repeatedly. From there, he wrote a monthly column in The Washington Post in which he criticised the policies of Prince Mohammed, who had become the kingdom’s de facto ruler.

In his first column for the Post, Khashoggi said he feared being arrested in an apparent crackdown on dissent overseen by the prince.

On 2 October 2018, Khashoggi was assassinated at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul by agents of the Saudi government. He entered the consulate to obtain documents related to his planned marriage but was never seen leaving.

On 11 December 2018, Jamal Khashoggi was named Time magazine’s person of the year for his work in journalism along with other journalists who faced political persecution for their work. Time magazine referred to Khashoggi as a “Guardian” in the “War on Truth”.