The street in front of the Saudi Embassy in Washington DC has been renamed Jamal Khashoggi Way.
The local council voted unanimously last year to rename the one-block stretch after the activist and journalist was murdered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018.
Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of DAWN, the pro-Arab democratic organization founded by Mr Khashoggi, said: “We intend to remind the people behind these doors… that we hold them accountable and we will hold them responsible for the murder of our friend.”
It comes as US President Joe Biden prepares to visit Saudi Arabia next month, a widely criticized trip that will include a meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
After Mr Khashoggi’s death, the Saudis initially denied any involvement but, as international pressure mounted, they admitted he was killed at the consulate, describing it as a failed repatriation effort.
The CIA concluded that Mr. Khashoggi was killed and dismembered by order of Mohammed bin Salmana charge the Saudis have denied.
Ms Whitson said Mr Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia was a sign of “shameless surrender”.
Mr Khashoggi’s Turkish fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, was unable to attend the ceremony – but in a statement she described the Biden administration as ‘treating principle and opportunity over principle’ “.
She added: “Can you at least ask (the crown prince): ‘Where is Jamal’s body?'”
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre did not confirm whether Mr Biden would raise Mr Khashoggi’s case with the Saudi crown prince.
She said, “The president is a straight shooter. It’s not something he’s afraid to talk about.”
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This is not the first time that a street housing an embassy has been renamed to mark a point – a number of countries have renamed streets with Russian embassies after its invasion of Ukraine.
Street of Free Ukraine, Street of Ukrainian Heroes and Street of Ukrainian Independence were among the names used mainly in European and Baltic countries.
In Washington DC, in 2018, the street in front of the Russian embassy became Boris Nemtsov Plaza in memory of the Russian activist shot dead near the Kremlin three years earlier.
“I’m glad the city did the right thing”
Activist Claude Taylor began putting up signs on Jamal Khashoggi Street in the city shortly after Mr Khashoggi’s death.
He said there were 10 signs in different places at one time and one stood for two years before it was vandalized.
He was not invited to Wednesday’s official panel unveiling but said, “I’m glad the city did the right thing and I’m glad it’s being recognized in this way.”
The name change is ceremonial – which is why the sign is brown rather than the usual green – and it will not change the embassy’s mailing address.
Nevertheless, the traffic sign will remain indefinitely.
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