The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) dedicated its memorial to journalists slain in the line of duty, honoring ten fallen broadcasters and reporters.
“While a journalist’s toolbox consists of pens, papers and sometimes a laptop, camera and microphone, the arsenal of the opponents of freedom of the press too often includes fists, arrest warrants and – as we acknowledge so vividly today – murder,” said Board member Joaquin F. Blaya in remarks delivered at the dedication on July 15, 2008.
The memorial, placed in the main corridor of the Wilbur J. Cohen building in Washington, D.C., honors Leonid Karas, Abdulrachmann Fatalibey, Georgi Markov, Iskandar Khatloni, Abdul-Hussein Khazal, Ricardo de Mello, Ogulsapar Muradova, Khamail Muhsin Khalaf, Nazar Abdulwahid Al-Radhi, and Alisher Saipov. Further information about the journalists is available in the News section of the BBG website
Board member Steven J. Simmons, in a speech about the dangers journalists face around the world noted that the memorial is, “a sad reminder that journalists risk their lives to protect a most basic freedom: the freedom to receive information. Information that sometimes is a matter of life and death.”
BBG journalists face ongoing threats to their safety and security. Four BBG journalists have been murdered in the last two years and intimidation, arrest and detention are persistent realities.
“The tragic events that we recognize in today’s dedication attest not to the power of despots, but to the power of journalists – whose seemingly insignificant tools produce the words of truth that find their way into millions of households every day. Journalists, whose words are so powerful, that the foes of freedom choose to fight them with force,” observed Governor Blaya.
The Broadcasting Board of Governors is an independent federal agency, supervising all U.S. government-supported, non-military international broadcasting, whose mission is to promote freedom and democracy and to enhance understanding through multi-media communication of accurate, objective, and balanced news, information, and other programming about America and the world to audiences overseas. BBG broadcasting organizations include the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa), Radio Free Asia, and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (Radio and TV Mart