US supports journalists in reporting freely on countries: White House

The US supports the ability of journalists to freely report on countries around the world, the White House said today on being asked about the Pakistan government`s decision asking the two Indian journalists based in Islamabad to leave the country within a week.

PTI| Last Updated: May 15, 2014, 00:32 AM IST

Washington: The US supports the ability of journalists to freely report on countries around the world, the White House said today on being asked about the Pakistan government`s decision asking the two Indian journalists based in Islamabad to leave the country within a week.

"Well, I`m not familiar with the specifics (of the case), and I don`t know all of the details," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters at his daily news conference.

He was responding to a question about the decision of the Pakistan government asking the two Indian journalists -- Press Trust of India`s (PTI) Snehesh Alex Philip and Hindu newspaper`s Meena Menon -- to leave the country within a week without giving any reason.

"As a general principle, we support the ability of journalists to freely report on countries around the world, every country, and that would include Pakistan and that would include Indian journalists in Pakistan and Pakistani journalists in India. So that would be our general view, but I don`t know the specifics of the case," Carney said.

When asked about the US assessment of the freedom of the press in Pakistan, Carney said there are harrowing reports prepared by international bodies that monitor the circumstances confronting journalists around the world.
"And it is often worth noting that in a country like the United States, where we rightly debate issues related to freedom of the press, that there are places around the world where the attempts to squelch that freedom too often include homicide, murder of journalists, and other steps that are taken to silence free and independent journalists and prevent them from reporting on the facts around the world," he said.
"That is something that we take very seriously here in this country and sometimes take for granted, and we shouldn`t," Carney said.