WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) today were joined by Senators Tim Kaine (D-Va.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) in introducing a Senate resolution to commemorate World Press Freedom Day (May 3). The bipartisan resolution recognizes increasing threats to freedom of expression, including freedom of the press around the world, and reaffirms the vital role of journalists and a free and independent media in combatting authoritarianism, misinformation, and disinformation, while promoting democracy, human rights, and good governance worldwide.
“This World Press Freedom Day, I am proud to be joined by my colleagues in again recognizing the fundamental importance of free and independent press,” Chairman Menendez said. “Tragically, journalists in every region of the world are increasingly persecuted, unjustly detained, attacked, or even killed for their efforts to speak truth to power, expose human rights abuses, shed light on malfeasance, and enhance accountability. We condemn such threats to press freedom and demand the release of wrongfully detained journalists—including New Jersey native Evan Gershkovich. Today, and every day, we reaffirm our steadfast commitment to the heroic efforts of journalists in their noble pursuit of truth and justice.”
“As we commemorate World Press Freedom Day, it’s important we take a moment to recognize the courage and sacrifices of journalists around the globe. At a time when freedom of the press remains under attack worldwide, it's important to advance the basic liberties that are critical for healthy democracies,” said Senator Rubio.
“Especially at a time when we must shine a spotlight on Evan Gershkovich’s unjustified detention in Russia, this resolution sends the important message that press freedom remains essential and attempts to threaten journalists are a serious affront to human rights,” said Senator Kaine. “This issue must stay top-of-mind not only on World Press Freedom Day, but every day.”
“Investigating and reporting the news should never be a cause for imprisonment or death,” said Senator Cardin. “The Committee to Protect Journalists reported that 2023 was a record-breaking year for attacks on journalists. On World Press Freedom Day, we stand in solidarity with all journalists who are attacked, killed or imprisoned for simply doing their job. This includes Evan Gershkovich who is imprisoned in Russia, Myo San Soe in Burma, Qurban Mamut in China, Iranian journalists Niloufar Hamedi and Elaheh Mohammadi, who helped expose the case of Mahsa Amini, and all those unjustly imprisoned around the world.”
“Press freedom is a cornerstone of democracy. But around the world, journalists have faced increased threats and put themselves in harm’s way to report the facts and the truth. Today, on World Press Freedom Day, we must continue to stand up for the rights of journalists everywhere and fight for justice for those imprisoned or harmed to ensure they are safe to do their job,” said Senator Van Hollen.
Find a copy of the bill text HERE.