A liberal political action committee on Tuesday placed an unofficial “Khashoggi Way” street sign outside the Saudi Embassy in Northwest to protest the suspected involvement of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in the Oct. 2 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
“The point is that we are putting a sign outside the Saudi Embassy to call attention to the fact that the crown prince of Saudi [Arabia] ordered the murder and dismemberment of a Washington Post columnist and Virginia resident,” said Claude Taylor, a former Clinton White House staffer and founder of Mad Dog PAC.
Last week, the Foggy Bottom Advisory Neighborhood Committee, whose jurisdiction includes the Saudi Embassy, unanimously approved a resolution to rename the section of New Hampshire Avenue in front of the embassy “Jamal Khashoggi Way.”
However, neither the D.C. government nor Congress has approved such a change.
A spokeswoman for D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson said he did not approve residents’ calls for a Khashoggi sign and noted that it uses lowercase letters, which standard city signs do not use.
“The chairman is maintaining his position to adhere to the law,” said spokeswoman Lindsey Walton, referring to a rule that persons be deceased for at least two years before a D.C. street can be named after them.
Mr. Mendelson declined to grant the residents an exception to the rule.
Elayne Burke, who lives in the Dupont area, said the chairman’s refusal to listen to residents frustrated her. She said she is not a member of Mad Dog PAC but was with Mr. Taylor when he placed the “Khashoggi Way” sign.
“The ANC voted for it, and Mendelson used the excuse that person has to be deceased for two years, but there are at least two other examples of that not being heeded,” Ms. Burke said. “This isn’t a huge moment, but it’s something.”
Mr. Taylor said he spent $280 to print signs that he plans to place along other streets in the city in hopes it will remind residents of the slain journalist.
“I made 12 signs,” he said. “This is just the first.”
Khashoggi, a Saudi national and U.S. resident, was a harsh critic of the Saud monarchy and especially of the crown prince. He is believed to have been strangled and dismembered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
In February, the section of Wisconsin Avenue NW in front of the Russian Embassy was renamed “Boris Nemtsov Plaza,” after the critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin who was killed near the Kremlin three years ago.