September 30, 2022

Schiff, McCollum Introduce Khashoggi Act to Protect Journalists

Congressman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) released the following statements today after introducing the Jamal Khashoggi Protection for Dissidents and Journalists Act of 2022:

“Jamal Khashoggi dedicated his life to exposing corruption, injustice, and brutality – the very forces that tragically cut his life short, when he was killed by Saudi agents seeking to silence his voice and diminish the power of the free press,” Schiff said. “As co-chair of the Congressional Freedom of the Press Caucus, I have fought for years for legislation that would impose accountability for such heinous crimes and this bill will further those efforts. The United States must send a powerful message to those complicit in Khashoggi’s murder, and to all foreign entities that systematically harass, suppress, and threaten dissidents and journalists: such anti-democratic attacks will be met with real, meaningful and punishing consequences.”

“The murder of U.S. resident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the hands of the Saudi government was not only a gross human rights violation, but a brutal crime,” McCollum said. “It is imperative to send a signal to the Executive Branch and the world that Congress will not condone those countries that target dissidents of any kind, including journalists seeking to report the truth. Four years after this horrific event, I’m introducing this bill to demand the U.S. government imposes accountability and justice for those who would attack democratic voices, including a free and open press.”

“Four years after agents of the Saudi Government killed our founder Jamal Khashoggi, Rep. McCollum is sending a clear message: we will not stop demanding justice for Jamal,” said Raed Jarrar, Advocacy Director for Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN). “We are proud to work with Congress to hold accountable those who killed Jamal Khashoggi and all other abusive governments who target dissidents.”

Background:
In October 2018, longtime U.S. resident and Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was brutally murdered in the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. In February 2021, the U.S. State Department announced Accountability for the Murder of Jamal Khashoggi by establishing the Khashoggi Ban, a global visa restriction policy that authorizes the Secretary of State to impose visa restrictions on individuals acting on behalf of a foreign government, who are believed to have been directly engaged in serious, extraterritorial counter-dissident activities. Legislation is needed to codify these accountability measures into law to ensure any change in Presidential Administration or future Executive Action will not impact this policy.

The Jamal Khashoggi Protection for Dissidents and Journalists Act of 2022 (H.R. 9064) was introduced by Rep. Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.), Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), and Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA).

The text of the bill can be found here.

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