Members of the Broadcasting Board of Governors emphasized the need for global press freedom and renewed their call for the release of journalists being held in Syria.
“Bashar Fahmi, a correspondent for Alhurra, is still missing and incommunicado in Syria. It has been 10 months since we have heard from him, and it is devastating for us and his family,” said BBG Governor Susan McCue on the Board’s behalf at a June 19 meeting – the first time that a woman has chaired a meeting of the BBG board. “The Board demands the immediate release of Fahmi, as well as the other journalists being held incommunicado in Syria, including Austin Tice and James Foley.”
Governor McCue added a personal call for anyone with information about Fahmi’s whereabouts or wellbeing to step forward. She also expressed concern about threats to journalists across Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s (RFE/RL) broadcast region, as well as to a correspondent for Voice of America’s Deewa Radio in Pakistan and several Alhurra journalists in Iraq.
In addition, the Governors thanked Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Tara Sonenshine for her dedicated service to the mission of U.S. international media.
The Board recognized former Presiding Governor Michael Lynton for his time with the BBG, crediting him for his contributions and accomplishments during his tenure.
The meeting was hosted by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Prague and Washington, D.C. Earlier, Governor Victor Ashe visited the RFE/RL newsroom and met with staff in Prague, congratulating them on their hard work and dedication.
The Board voted to adjourn until its next scheduled meeting on August 14, which will be held at BBG headquarters in Washington, D.C.