U.S. to Promote Press Freedom


WASHINGTON — President Obama signed legislation on Monday intended to promote a free press around the world, a bipartisan measure inspired by the murder in Pakistan of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter, shortly after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Jason Reed/Reuters

President Obama signed the legislation on Monday surrounded by the family of Daniel Pearl, a reporter killed in Pakistan.

The legislation, called the Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act, requires the State Department to expand its scrutiny of news media restrictions and intimidation as part of its annual review of human rights in each country. Among other considerations, the department will be required to determine whether foreign governments participate in or condone violations of press freedom.

The new law “puts us clearly on the side of journalistic freedom,” Mr. Obama said, praising Mr. Pearl’s family for being “outspoken and so courageous” in pursuing the cause. With the law, the president added, “his legacy lives on.”

Mr. Obama was joined in the Oval Office by Mr. Pearl’s widow, Mariane, and the son he never met, Adam, who was born several months after his father’s death and will turn 8 this month.

Mr. Pearl, a veteran correspondent for The Journal, was reporting on terrorist groups in Pakistan when he was kidnapped and beheaded in early 2002. Four men were convicted in Pakistan soon afterward, and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of 9/11, told American investigators in 2007 that he had killed Mr. Pearl.

Posted via web from Street_Visuals

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