On 17 May, President Barack Obama has signed the Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act, a law that will require the U.S. government to shine a brighter spotlight on governments that tolerate or sanction press freedom violations.
The law is named after the Wall Street Journal reporter who was kidnapped and murdered by terrorists in Pakistan in 2002, according to VOA.
“The law directs the State Department to include in its annual global human rights report, information detailing the state of press freedom and the extent to which governments are supporting or tolerating or are actually involved in violations,” according to the information. “In addition, the United States will look at actions governments take to preserve the safety and independence of the media, and steps they take to ensure that those who attack or murder journalists are prosecuted.”
"There are enormously courageous journalists, and bloggers, who, at great risk to themselves, are trying to shine a light on critical issues that people in their countries face, who are in the front lines against tyranny and oppression," said Obama.
The law was approved by the House of Representatives last December by a 403 to 12 vote, and passed unanimously by the U.S. Senate in April.
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