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VOA Director Statement on Disappearance of Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi

The disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul one week ago is a grave reminder of the serious threats facing journalists worldwide. The US Agency for Global Media believes freedom of the press is critical to democracy and good governance and that journalists must be allowed to conduct their work without fear of intimidation, harassment, or worse.

If Turkish government reports of the killing or abduction of Khashoggi are true, it represents a serious new level in the already growing tide of threats and persecution worldwide. This in turn seriously threatens the mission of USAGM to report the truth and increases the risk to all journalists working worldwide including those USAGM networks – Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Middle East Broadcasting Network and Office of Cuba Broadcasting, and Radio Free Asia.

We call on all governments to do more to support these core values and to react strongly and appropriately to this grave matter involving a U.S.-based journalist and two U.S. allies.