Washington, D.C. — U.S. Agency for Global Media CEO Michael Pack has issued the following statement:
“Every day, journalists around the world risk their lives to report the news and share the truth with those starved for it. But it is important we all recognize that it is not they alone who face peril due to their essential work. In countries hostile to freedom of expression, the friends and family members of journalists as well often endure persecution and retribution, ranging from intimidation to murder, merely because of association.
This week, the Islamic Republic of Iran arrested and sentenced to eight years in prison Alireza Alinejad – the brother of Voice of America contributor Masih Alinejad – under the pretext of acting against national security, insulting Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and engaging in anti-government propaganda. These actions are unjust, but, make no mistake, they will only stiffen the resolve of every person in every nation whose heart beats for freedom.
The Iranian regime is totalitarian. It has suffocated the flow of information and employed tyrannical tactics to silence its people for decades. USAGM remains fully committed to supporting and protecting its journalists, including those who are heroically striving to reach the people of Iran. The agency stands with Alireza and his family as it ramps up America’s fight for liberty in the global war of ideas.”
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