Washington, DC- U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) announced that the Senate passed their World Press Freedom Resolution, S. Res. 447.
“The Senate sent an important message today to those that seek to stifle the freedom of the press – the United States does not tolerate attacks against journalists and stands united against repressive governments,” said Senator Casey. “I applaud my colleagues for coming together in support of journalists and freedom of the press worldwide.”
“Every day in all corners of the world, independent journalists are under attack by repressive governments that don’t want the world to know what goes on in their countries,” said Senator Rubio. “We should never take for granted the press freedom we have in the United States. It’s our responsibility to defend press freedom globally and highlight the repressive actions that many independent journalists abroad are themselves forbidden from reporting on. I’m proud to have led this effort in the Senate to send a message that the U.S. stands with independent journalists being persecuted around the world.”
Journalists the world over put their lives at risk to deliver news and information every day. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists 211 journalists were jailed worldwide in 2013, the second worst year on record. Many more are missing or have been exiled from their home countries. Attacks and intimidation like this can stifle essential flows of information and limit the scope of our insight into events on the ground.
The World Press Freedom Resolution seeks to condemn restrictions on the freedom of the press around the globe and highlight the issue of impunity for perpetrators of attacks on journalists. Using statistics carefully collected by Reporters Without Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists, the resolution condemns those countries that seek to crush the lawful dissemination of information by attacking, imprisoning, and in some cases, killing journalists. The resolution reaffirms the United States’ dedication to protecting press freedom to support democracy, mitigate conflict, and promote good governance. It also calls on the President and Secretary of State to improve the means by which the U.S. government identifies, publicizes, and responds to threats against freedom of the press, and urges foreign governments to transparently investigate and bring to justice the perpetrators of attacks against journalists.