Remarks by Communications Director Tom Miller about World Press Freedom Day (May 10, 2012)
Remarks by Communications Director Tom Miller about World Press Freedom Day
Welcome to our distinguished guests: representatives from the Government of Pakistan, from the United Nations, from other diplomatic missions, from organizations supporting freedom of the press and human rights, and most importantly, welcome to all the journalists here tonight.
It is especially important to honor World Press Freedom Day here in Pakistan, where far too many journalists face the threat of violence, intimidation, and even death. It is often said that Pakistan is the most dangerous place in the world for journalists, and we honor you for your dedication to your field, despite these tremendous risks. Even today, we mourn the loss of Tariq Kamal, a Sindhi journalist whose body was found in Karachi yesterday.
The risks you face are real, and the consequences can be grave. But the United States honors the role a free press plays in creating sustainable democracies and prosperous societies. Your role is vital to the success of Pakistan, and we must all work together to combat the culture of violence and intimidation you currently face.
As President Obama said, “No matter the cause, when journalists are intimidated, attacked, imprisoned, or disappeared, individuals begin to self-censor, fear replaces truth, and all of our societies suffer. A culture of impunity for such actions must not be allowed to persist in any country.”
You are the protectors of the truth referenced by President Obama. We honor you for your service to your country, and we pledge to you our support. Thank you.