The last column Jamal Khashoggi wrote before disappearing focuses on need for free press


The Washington Post has published the last column by Jamal Khashoggi, written by the journalist shortly before he went missing.

The column, titled “What the Arab world needs most is free expression,” focuses on the need for a free press in the Middle East and that many Arabs live in a state of misinformation.

Khashoggi talked about how freedom of the press has been under attack and generally isn’t taken seriously by the international community and as a result reporters were being silenced.

“These actions no longer carry the consequence of a backlash from the international community,” Khashoggi wrote. “Instead, these actions may trigger condemnation quickly followed by silence. As a result, Arab governments have been given free rein to continue silencing the media at an increasing rate.”

Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who wrote critically of the kingdom and royal family for The Washington Post, has been missing since entering the Saudi consulate in Turkey on Oct. 2.

For the past two weeks, Turkish security officials have claimed in various leaks to state-run media and some U.S. outlets that they have audio and video evidence indicating Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate.

At the top of the piece, Global Opinions editor Karen Attiah left a note describing her reluctance to publish the piece, hoping Khashoggi would “come back to us” so they could edit it together. But, Attiah said, she now accepts Khashoggi is gone.

“This is the last piece of his I will edit for The Post. This column perfectly captures his commitment and passion for freedom in the Arab world,” she wrote. “A freedom he apparently gave his life for. I will be forever grateful he chose The Post as his final journalistic home one year ago and gave us the chance to work together.”