Jan 21, 2021

NEW YORK (January 21, 2021) – On the eve of the inauguration of President Biden, incoming Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines confirmed that the new administration plans to release an unclassified intelligence report on the murder of Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

“The release of the intelligence report on Jamal Khashoggi’s murder would be the first step toward holding Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman accountable. We hope the Biden administration will bring Khashoggi’s murderers to justice and impose sanctions against all of the individuals involved,” said HRF president Thor Halvorssen.

Khashoggi peacefully advocated for freedom of expression, democratic reforms, and universal human rights in Saudi Arabia but was brutally murdered on October 2, 2018 inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, on direct orders of Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman.

Saudi Arabia is one of the most repressive countries on the planet, and among the world’s worst violators of fundamental human rights, in particular the right to freedom of expression. Expressing any opposition to the Saudi government is considered a crime.
Saudi Arabia is also one of the biggest jailers of journalists in the world, and continues to imprison and torture women who campaigned for women’s rights, such as the right to drive — even after the Kingdom formally lifted its ban on women driving in 2019.

HRF is leading a global campaign to bring attention to the brutality of the Saudi regime. As part of this campaign, HRF produced THE DISSIDENT, a critically-acclaimed documentary directed by Academy Award-winning director Bryan Fogel, that features never-before-seen surveillance footage from inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the transcript of the recording of the murder itself, and unprecedented access to a wealth of damning information previously unavailable to the public.

THE DISSIDENT is available now for viewers to rent or own on Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, and Redbox on Demand.


The Human Rights Foundation is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that promotes and protects human rights globally, with a focus on closed societies. For further comment, please contact [email protected]