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SPJ demands Khashoggi's killers be brought to justice
Editor’s note: Shortly after this letter was mailed and sent electronically to the White House, Saudi Arabia confirmed the death of the missing journalist. The Society of Professional Journalists still calls for a full and transparent independent investigation that leads to the arrests of the perpetrators of this crime.
J. Alex Tarquinio, SPJ National President, 212-283-0843, email@example.com
Jennifer Royer, SPJ Director of Communications and Marketing, 317-361-4134, firstname.lastname@example.org
INDIANAPOLIS – Earlier today, the Society of Professional Journalists sent a letter to the White House expressing deep concern over the disappearance of Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi and President Trump’s ongoing rhetoric attacking press freedom.
“While our organization takes no political party stance, like all free speech groups we are partisan on the issue of press freedom and the other rights guaranteed by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which you have sworn to uphold,” wrote SPJ National President J. Alex Tarquinio in the letter. “Today, we implore you to lay aside political rhetoric and stand up for press freedom worldwide. As President of the United States, a position long viewed as the leader of the free world, we urge you to insist on a full and transparent independent investigation into the disappearance and alleged extrajudicial killing of Mr. Khashoggi. That would send a strong message to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia — where journalists critical of the royal family have been jailed — that attacking, jailing and murdering journalists is an affront to the people’s right to know and the people’s right to participate in the democratic process.”
The letter continues by expressing SPJ’s disappointment by President Trump’s apparent praise of Congressman Greg Gianforte’s assault on a reporter who asked him a question — behavior for which the congressman himself has publicly apologized, plead guilty to misdemeanor assault charge and donated $50,000 to a journalism organization.
SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. Become a member, give to the Legal Defense Fund, or give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation.