WASHINGTON: President Obama on May 17 signed into law the Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act that requires the U.S. State Department to compile a public list of foreign governments that violate press freedom.
Obama said the measure will send a strong message that Washington was paying attention to the way foreign governments treat the media.
“The loss of Daniel Pearl was one of those moments that captured the world’s imagination because it reminded us how valuable a free press is,” the President said. “This legislation, in a very modest way, puts us clearly on the side of journalistic freedom.”
Pearl, 38, a Wall Street Journal correspondent, was beheaded by militants in Pakistan in 2002 while working on a story about radical Islamist groups. Obama was joined for the signing ceremony by Pearl’s widow Mariane, an honorary member of the OPC who now lives in Paris; the couple’s seven-year-old son Adam; and the correspondent’s parents.