Washington, D.C. — USAGM CEO Amanda Bennett issued the following statement in reflection of International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists:
“Journalism is a building block for freedom and democracy – whether that means speaking truth to power, delivering life-saving information, or exposing propaganda, censorship, and malign influence for what it is.
As press freedom remains critical, journalists’ work grows increasingly dangerous. Since the devastating conflict in Israel and Gaza began, thousands have been killed, including many journalists covering the war. Despite the unimaginable toll of facing the brutality of war day after day, and working under impossible conditions with little to no connectivity, journalists at USAGM’s networks toil bravely around the clock to reveal the unfolding crisis to the world. I applaud their commitment to delivering the truth, often at tremendous cost. My heart goes out to everyone impacted by the ongoing violence.
As journalists risk their lives to report the truth, impunity for crimes against them remains a matter of great concern. Just two weeks ago, Alsu Kurmasheva became the second American journalist to be unjustly detained by Russia. She was formally charged with violating Russia’s “foreign agent” law, and will be held in pre-trial detention until at least December 5. Alsu is one of many reporters who have been unfairly targeted by an authoritarian regime. Reporting is not a crime. Acts of violence and repression against them only deprive people of their right to access information freely.
On this International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, the global state of journalist safety remains dire. The international community and democratic governments everywhere have a responsibility to support press freedom, prioritize journalist safety and strengthen protections for journalists, no matter where they’re reporting.”
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