two women watch as a man speaks into a microphone from a panel
Rep. Adam Schiff speaks at a briefing on threats to journalists in Russia and post-Soviet states. October 4, 2017. Photo credit: Joint Baltic American National Committee, Inc. (JBANC)

An important step towards press freedom

Today, the House Freedom of the Press Caucus and the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission, held a joint briefing on the systematic attacks on journalists in Russia and other post-Soviet states.

I want to thank co-chairs Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Representative Steve Chabot (R-OH) for their leadership in reinvigorating the House Freedom of the Press Caucus and bringing this important issue to the fore.

The bipartisan caucus aims to advance press freedom around the world and provide a forum to combat media censorship and the persecution of journalists. I appreciate Representatives Schiff and Chabot inviting Voice of America Director Amanda Bennett and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty President Thomas Kent to share their experiences working in this difficult media environment.

Every day, journalists in Russia and its periphery face intimidation, physical harm, illegal search and seizure, and jail time. Today’s briefing revealed the extent to which the Kremlin seeks to suppress independent voices and a free and open press.