For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
May 3, 2007
President's Statement on World Press Freedom Day
On this day we commemorate World Press Freedom Day. The United States values freedom of the press as one of the most fundamental political rights and as a necessary component of free societies. In undemocratic societies where governments suppress, manipulate, and control access to information, journalists are on the front lines of the people's battle for freedom. The danger journalists face in such repressive States can be great -- and even deadly.
On behalf of the American people, I salute those in the press who courageously do their work at great risk. No independent media are allowed in countries such as Cuba and North Korea, and those who attempt to report are often imprisoned. Repressive laws severely restrict journalists and freedom of speech in countries such as Belarus, Burma, Iran, Libya, Syria, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe. We condemn the harassment, physical intimidation, and persecution that journalists, including bloggers and Internet reporters, have faced in China, Egypt, Tunisia, and Vietnam; and the unsolved murders of journalists in Lebanon, Russia, and Belarus.
Bringing unfiltered information, news, and facts to the people and accountability to their governments is the hallmark of the fourth estate. Today we salute the free press for its dedication to the people's right to know.
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