Today, we commemorate the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists. We renew our steadfast commitment to promoting a free and independent press and advocating for accountability against those who commit violence or other crimes against journalists.
Commemorating this day is particularly important this year, as we continue to seek all facts in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi. We have taken initial action against those individuals believed to be responsible, and as Secretary Pompeo said last week, we will continue to explore additional measures against any individual determined to be responsible.
Elsewhere, in Somalia, Syria, South Sudan, and Iraq media professionals have been killed for reporting on conflict with minimal consequences to their perpetrators.
Journalists in Iran, Turkey, Cuba, Burma, and China endure arbitrary detention for their reporting.
In Russia, Nicaragua, and Afghanistan, and in so many other countries around the world little progress has been made to hold perpetrators accountable as crimes against journalists continue to rise.
As made evident by these examples, impunity for crimes against journalists remains a pervasive and serious issue. Media professionals are extremely vulnerable to being silenced and unprotected by governments that turn a blind eye to abuses. We urge the international community to work to prevent these crimes and when they occur, to bring those responsible to justice.