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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

State in 60 Seconds: Press Freedom

M. Arsalan Suleman, Counselor for Multilateral Affairs in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor and the U.S. Deputy Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)
Washington, DC
May 3, 2013


Freedom of the press is critical to ensure that diverse and independent sources of information are available to people. The free flow of information helps to protect against corruption, tyranny. It helps to promote economic prosperity and it helps to ensure accountable governance. Freedom of the press is a foundational value of the United States and it's also a universal human right. Unfortunately there are many parts of the world were press freedom is suppressed, journalists are imprisoned, governments have laws that suppress the freedom of expression. So it's a core part of the United States foreign policy to promote press freedom abroad in order to promote democracy, human rights, economic development, and general stability. We do this in a number of ways. We engage governments directly, both privately and publicly, on cases of imprisoned journalists. We also work multilaterally to hold governments accountable to their obligations and we also work directly with civil society to provide funding to media actors so that they can do their work in repressive environments and also online.

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