Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations’ Subcommittee that oversees human rights, and Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, led their Senate colleagues in introducing a bipartisan resolution to commemorate World Press Freedom Day. The resolution underscores the sacrifices that journalists around the world have borne in pursuit of truth and accountability. The resolution also acknowledges increasing international threats to freedoms of the press and expression against the backdrop of COVID-19.
Additional cosponsors include Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Tim Kaine (D-VA), John Boozman (R-AR), Chris Coons (D-DE), John Cornyn (R-TX), Ed Markey (D-MA), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Bob Casey (D-PA).
“Freedom of the press and expression are critical components of a healthy democracy,” Rubio said. “Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, journalists have further been targeted or even arrested for reporting about the spread of the virus in places around the world. I’m proud to once again join this bipartisan resolution, which reaffirms our commitment to advancing and supporting press freedom, pursuing accountability and honoring those brave journalists for their tireless work to report the truth in some of the darkest places.”
“Freedom of the press is a fundamental human right, a foundational pillar of democracy, and an indispensable check on authoritarian overreach,” Menendez said. “As journalists fight to advance truth and objectivity under dire circumstances, far too many governments have responded with verbal attacks and prison sentences. Today, we applaud the work and the courage of all those involved in bringing stories from around the world to our fingertips, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Recognizing that societies where informed citizens can hold their governments accountable are more stable, secure, and prosperous, we have a responsibility to stand up for the fundamental rights of freedom of expression and a free press.”