President Obama yesterday signed legislation requiring the US State Department to increase scrutiny of news media restrictions and intimidation as part of its annual review of human rights in each country. The legislation, entitled the Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act, is named after Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl who was killed while working in Pakistan shortly after the 11 September attacks.
The new law “puts us clearly on the side of journalistic freedom,” Mr. Obama said, praising Mr. Pearl’s family for being “outspoken and so courageous” in pursuing the cause. With the law, the president added, “his legacy lives on.”
Mr. Obama was joined in the Oval Office by Mr. Pearl’s widow, Mariane, and the son he never met, Adam, who was born several months after his father’s death and will turn eight this month.