The widow of murdered Saudi journalist and dissident Jamal Khashoggi has been granted political asylum in the U.S., according to reports. 

Hanan Elatr feared for her safety and came to the U.S. in August 2020, when she applied for asylum following the death of her husband two years earlier. Khashoggi, an internationally known and respected journalist, was killed by Saudi officials after publicly criticizing the crown prince’s harsh methods of silencing his rivals and critics.

Elatr was granted indefinite asylum status on Nov. 28, more than three years after she first applied, arguing that her life would be in danger if she returned to her home country of Egypt or the United Arab Emirates (UAE), her home of more than 25 years, according to the BBC.

“We did win,” Elatr told the BBC. “Yes, they took Jamal’s life, and they destroyed my life, but we did win.”


Jamal Khashoggi

Hanan Elatr, left, and Jamal Khashoggi, right, at their wedding in June 2018. (@hananelatr via X)

Elatr told U.S. authorities in her asylum application that Egypt had detained and mistreated her family and confiscated their passports because of her relationship with Khashoggi, according to The Washington Post, the same publication Khashoggi had worked for.

She said that in 2018, four months before Khashoggi’s murder, the UAE detained and interrogated her and put military-grade spyware on her confiscated phones.

“I couldn’t really believe it,” Elatr told The Washington Post. “I said, ‘Is this real?’ I couldn’t digest it.” She said the decision “shows there is one victim who is still alive.”

Her attorney told the BBC that Elatr expressed gratitude to President Biden and his administration and said she is “relieved from feeling scared.”

Jamal Khashoggi

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi speaks during a press conference in Manama, Bahrain, on Dec. 15, 2014. His widow, Hanan Elatr, has been granted political asylum in the U.S. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File)


Her late husband was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, 2018.

A team of 15 Saudi agents had flown to Turkey to meet Khashoggi inside the consulate for his appointment to pick up documents that would allow him to marry his Turkish fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, who waited outside. Khashoggi had married Elatr in Virginia four months earlier in an Islamic ceremony, and the documents he sought were to prove he was divorced from two previous wives in Saudi Arabia, according to the Independent. 

The team of Saudi agents included a forensic doctor, intelligence and security officers, and individuals who worked directly for the crown prince’s office, according to Agnes Callamard, who investigated the killing for the United Nations. 

A picture of Hanan Elatr the wife of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. She is looking down at her phone

Hanan Elatr, the wife of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi during an interview in 2021. She has been granted political asylum in the U.S. (Jon Gerberg/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Turkish officials allege Khashoggi was killed and then dismembered with a bone saw inside the consulate. Turkey apparently had the Saudi consulate bugged and shared audio of the killing with the CIA, among others. 

In 2021, the Biden administration declassified a report blaming Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for approving the operation to capture or kill Khashoggi, despite the country’s claim that he was not directly involved. The Biden administration declared that the official standing of Saudi Arabia’s crown prince should grant him immunity in lawsuits for his alleged role in the brutal killing.


Prior to his killing, Khashoggi had written critically of Mohammed bin Salman in columns for The Washington Post.  

He also founded Democracy for the Arab World Now, an organization aimed at pushing for democratic and human rights reform in Saudi Arabia and throughout the Arab world. 

Khashoggi had been living in exile in the United States for about a year as Prince Mohammed oversaw a crackdown in Saudi Arabia on human rights activists, writers and critics of the kingdom’s devastating war in Yemen. 

Fox News’ Greg Norman contributed to this report.


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