Today, together with the rest of the world, the U.S. Mission to Kazakhstan observes World Press Freedom Day. On this occasion, we would like to praise journalists for their important work, and for their commitment and bravery each day to inform their fellow citizens. When a free press is endangered, every other freedom is also threatened. In times of emergency, such as the current pandemic, supporting journalists and protecting freedom of speech is even more crucial.
Today, Kazakhstani human rights organizations report that almost a dozen cases have been opened against journalists since March 2020. For us, freedom of speech, including speech online, is a fundamental freedom. Our concern for its protection does not diminish during an emergency.
We hope that the Government of Kazakhstan will continue its work to improve legislation to protect journalists’ rights to report news and citizens’ rights for objective and timely information.
World Press Freedom Day is also a day of reflection about ethics in journalism and the importance of upholding fundamental principles such as truth, accuracy, independence, fairness, and impartiality. We should remind ourselves and the people around us that keeping our environment free of disinformation is important, the same way that good hygiene helps fight the spread of coronavirus.
The United States values its relationship with Kazakhstan and will continue to stand by its side in building a prosperous and sustainable democratic society.
Happy World Press Freedom Day!