WASHINGTON

A pro-democracy group established by Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi shortly before he was murdered in 2018 was officially launched Tuesday in the US, The Washington Post reported.  

Democracy for the Arab World Now, or DAWN, aims to promote human rights and democracy in the Arab world.

The Post, citing its supporters, said the group will document and address abusive behavior and human rights violations by Middle East governments, particularly Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

Speaking to the newspaper, Sarah Leah Whitson, the organization’s executive director, said Khashoggi founded the organization “based on his belief that only democracy and freedom will bring lasting peace and security to the Middle East and North Africa.”

“We are going to uphold Jamal’s legacy,” she said.

Khashoggi, 59, a columnist for The Washington Post and a US resident, was killed and dismembered by a group of Saudi operatives shortly after he entered the country’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on Oct. 2, 2018.

Riyadh offered conflicting narratives to explain his disappearance before acknowledging he was murdered in the diplomatic building in a “rogue operation.”

Earlier this month, the Riyadh Criminal Court commuted death sentences handed down last year to the accused into prison terms of up to 20 years.

The Saudi trial process was widely criticized.

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