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Congressman Schiff Introduces Legislation to Protect Journalists from Human Rights AbusesJamal Khashoggi Press Freedom Accountability Act Would Levy Targeted Sanctions, Restrict Foreign Aid, and Bolster Reporting on Human Rights Abuses Committed Against Journalists
Washington DC – Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) introduced the Jamal Khashoggi Press Freedom Accountability Act to ensure that the United States holds accountable those who commit extrajudicial killings and other gross violations of human rights against journalists. This legislation would prohibit U.S. foreign assistance to government entities and levy targeted sanctions against individuals that perpetrate gross human rights violation against journalists, and would require the Department of State to document incidents of online harassment and electronic surveillance of journalists in its annual Human Rights Reports. Schiff first introduced this legislation in October of last year, and companion legislation was introduced by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT).
“This legislation, named in honor of the late Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, would build upon the Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act to strengthen the United States’ commitment to hold to account those who would target journalists for violence and persecution,” said Rep. Schiff. “A free and independent media is essential for a free society, and the United States must stand with journalists around the world who risk their lives to expose corruption, express independent and critical voices, and tell the difficult stories that must be told.”
Schiff recently sent a letter to Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines requesting the declassification of a report already produced by the Intelligence Community on the brutal, premeditated murder of Khashoggi.
“We must ensure that journalists in the United States and around the world are able to do their jobs without fear of harm,” Senator Klobuchar said. “It is unacceptable to suppress, imprison, and violently target the press, and the Jamal Khashoggi Act would ensure that the United States holds foreign governments who attempt to do so accountable.”
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