On 1 May, U.S. President Barack Obama released an official statement in connection with World Press Freedom Day 2009 (3 May).
In the statement, Obama mentioned Azerbaijan, saying, “In every corner of the globe, there are journalists in jail or being actively harassed: from Azerbaijan to Zimbabwe, Burma to Uzbekistan, Cuba to Eritrea.”
“Even as the world recognizes the central and indisputable importance of press freedom, journalists find themselves in frequent peril,” said Obama. “Since this day was first celebrated some sixteen years ago, 692 journalists have been killed. Only a third of those deaths were linked to the dangers of covering war; the majority of victims were local reporters covering topics such as crime, corruption, and national security in their home countries. Adding to this tragic figure are the hundreds more each year who face intimidation, censorship, and arbitrary arrest – guilty of nothing more than a passion for truth and a tenacious belief that a free society depends on an informed citizenry.”
The statement can be viewed in its entirety here: