The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad marks World Press Freedom Day, an annual occasion to recognize and honor the essential role a free press plays in democracies to ensure access to the news that informed citizens need. World Press Freedom Day is also an opportunity to reflect on and pay tribute to the journalists who have been intimidated, assaulted, or lost their lives. The U.S. Embassy takes careful note of the Iraqi Journalistic Freedom Observatory’s announcement that since May 3, 2014, 34 journalists have reportedly been killed or wounded while carrying out their duties in Iraq, and 27 others were reportedly kidnapped.
As President Obama stated, “Sunday is World Press Freedom Day, a day in which we reaffirm the vital role that a free press plays in democracy and in shining a light on the many challenges, cruelties, and also hopeful stories that exist in countries all around the world. Journalists give all of us, as citizens, the chance to know the truth about our countries, ourselves, our governments. That makes us better. It makes us stronger. It gives voice to the voiceless, exposes injustice, and holds leaders like me accountable.”