The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
December 10, 2008

Fact Sheet: Promoting Human Rights Worldwide
President Bush Meets With Dissident Bloggers And New Media Users To Commemorate Human Rights Day And The 60th Anniversary Of the Universal Declaration Of Human Rights

     Fact sheet In Focus: Freedom Agenda

"Expanding freedom is more than a moral imperative – it is the only realistic way to protect our people in the long run. ... Governments accountable to their people do not attack each other. Democracies address problems through the political process, instead of blaming outside scapegoats. Young people who can disagree openly with their leaders are less likely to adopt violent ideologies. And nations that commit to freedom for their people will not support extremists – they will join in defeating them."

--President George W. Bush
June 5, 2007

Today, President Bush will commemorate Human Rights Day and the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948. To honor the day, President Bush is meeting with activists who use Internet blogs and new-media technologies to promote freedom in countries with restricted media environments – six in person and two via videoconference – including individuals from Belarus, Burma, China, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, and Venezuela. President Bush will discuss with them the challenges they confront in overcoming censorship

Defending The Rights Of Independent Journalists And New-Media Users Fighting For Freedom Across The Globe

The Administration has helped users of new media to overcome censorship, report abuses, and advocate for freedom. U.S. international broadcasters funded by the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) are overcoming censorship by gathering news from citizen journalists with cell phones, reporting the facts via SMS feeds and targeted e-mails, and encouraging citizens living in repressive regimes to join the information revolution with open discussions on radio and TV call-in shows and blogs. The BBG now offers diverse Internet products in all 60 broadcast languages, ranging from basic text to complex video and audio and live streaming.

Advancing The Freedom Agenda

President Bush has made advancing human rights around the world central to his presidency. Under President Bush's Freedom Agenda, the United States has stepped up efforts to implement the Universal Declaration of Human Rights worldwide. It is in our interest to continue liberty's advance – because we know from history that the advance of freedom is necessary for our security and peace. Some of the Administration's efforts to support this goal include:

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