(Washington, D.C.) Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (the U.S. Helsinki Commission) and Co-Chairman Congressman Alcee Hastings marked World Press Freedom Day this month by calling on the Russian government to step up its investigation and prosecution of those who have murdered journalists.
“We are approaching the fifth anniversary of the slaying of American journalist Paul Klebnikov in Moscow. I call upon the Russian authorities to bring justice to all of those responsible in any way for his murder” Cardin said.
After writing numerous articles and books exposing corruption, Forbes Russia editor Paul Klebnikov was shot and killed as he left his Moscow office in July 2004.
Representative Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), Co-Chairman of the Helsinki Commission cited several nations that have restricted and utterly controlled their news outlets.
“Freedom of the press is only a cherished dream for many today in the OSCE region. Vibrant independent media are an essential element of any democracy. Leaders the world over who are determined to remain in office by any means necessary understand perfectly the power of the press. That is precisely why they and their associates strive so vigorously to control the media,”
As Chairman of the Helsinki Commission, Cardin met Tuesday with Miklos Haraszti, the Representative for Freedom of the Media for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Cardin called Haraszti a tireless advocate for freedom of expression. Press freedom will receive additional attention at the annual OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, scheduled to take place in Warsaw, Poland this fall.
To see the full text of the Chairman Cardin’s statement in the Congressional Record click here.
To see the full text of Co-Chairman Hastings’s statement in the Congressional Record click here.
The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission, is an independent agency of the Federal Government charged with monitoring compliance with the Helsinki Accords and advancing comprehensive security through promotion of human rights, democracy, and economic, environmental and military cooperation in 56 countries. The Commission consists of nine members from the U.S. Senate, nine from the House of Representatives, and one member each from the Departments of State, Defense, and Commerce.