Bush scolds China, Russia, others on press freedoms
Published: Thursday May 3, 2007
'Bush scolds China, Russia, others on press freedoms'
US President George W. Bush on Thursday sharply criticized China, Cuba, Egypt, North Korea, Russia, Syria, Venezuela and other countries over restrictions or attacks on the news media.
"No independent media are allowed in countries such as Cuba and North Korea, and those who attempt to report are often imprisoned," he said in a statement marking World Press Freedom Day.
"Repressive laws severely restrict journalists and freedom of speech in countries such as Belarus, Burma (Myanmar), Iran, Libya, Syria, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe," he said.
"We condemn the harassment, physical intimidation, and persecution that journalists, including bloggers and Internet reporters, have faced in China, Egypt, Tunisia, and Vietnam; and the unsolved murders of journalists in Lebanon, Russia, and Belarus," he said.
"In undemocratic societies where governments suppress, manipulate, and control access to information, journalists are on the front lines of the people's battle for freedom. The danger journalists face in such repressive States can be great -- and even deadly," he said.
"The United States values freedom of the press as one of the most fundamental political rights and as a necessary component of free societies," he said.