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Congressman Lloyd Doggett

Representing the 35th District of Texas

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Never to Go Unnoticed: Rep. Doggett, Lawrence Wright, Press Freedom Advocates Speak in Memory of Jamal Khashoggi at 100 Day Ceremony

January 11, 2019

***Press Release***

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 11, 2019

Contact: Kate Stotesbery

202-225-4865

 

Never to Go Unnoticed: Rep. Doggett, Lawrence Wright, Press Freedom Advocates Speak in Memory of Jamal Khashoggi at 100 Day Ceremony

Washington, D.C. — Yesterday evening, Congressman Lloyd Doggett spoke at the ceremony held in the U.S. Capitol to mark 100 days since the murder of Saudi Arabian journalist and American resident Jamal Khashoggi in a Saudi consulate. Texas-based, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright, who was a personal friend of Mr. Khashoggi, held a time of silence in his memory. Among the speakers were Washington Post Publisher Fred Ryan, Margaux Ewen of Reporters Without Borders North America, Sherif Mansour of the Committee to Protect Journalists, Congressman Adam Schiff, Congressional Freedom of the Press Caucus Co-Chair, and a bipartisan group of lawmakers.

In October, Congressman Doggett led a House effort urging President Trump to impose sanctions, under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, on Mr. Khashoggi’s murderers. As he continues to press to end U.S. involvement in the war in Yemen, he looks to Jamal Khashoggi’s warning in the Washington Post about that war: “We should not need to be reminded of the value of human life.” You can view Congressman Doggett’s full remarks in memory of Mr. Khashoggi in video here and as delivered below:

“One of our colleagues—who’s not present today—may have, in an apparent attempt to defend the disgraceful reaction to this Khashoggi murder, hit on a central truth when he said, ‘many countries murder journalists.’ It persists when those murders, or torture, or imprisonment are ignored, whether they're directed by a supposed ally or an obvious adversary, whether by a Crown Prince, or the Kremlin, or the Burmese military, or an Ayatollah, or an Egyptian dictator, or some tyrant who purports to be a left-winger, or any other third-rate thug. Each time our government turns its face away, and ignores, and offers excuses, and claims that pragmatism is more important than freedom of expression, the world becomes a little less safe for journalists. And, indeed, it becomes a little less safe for the rest of us who rely on their insight and those of us who share that preference: to live in a world that is fact-based, even though that seems to be going out of vogue in some quarters. When a House colleague has been lauded for assaulting a journalist on our own soil, the special urgency literally strikes home.

Today, for those of us who really only know Jamal Khashoggi through his courageous writing, we join in his name to remember all those journalists who are suffering now. Whose only crime is to shed light where there is otherwise only darkness and propaganda. Let’s never forget this one murder, nor the perpetrators, who continue at this very moment to continue killing innocence in Yemen.

I want to thank you Larry and all the others who encouraged this memorial. I believe that our lasting memorial to Khashoggi and all those who risk their own personal safety and liberty to report the truth must be to never let their suffering go unnoticed. And to reject rewards for those who repress them, regardless of whether they are friend or foe. This is because we understand that freedom of the press is not a frill that we can sacrifice, but it is a value that is fundamental to both our security and our personal liberty.”

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