< Back to H.R. 3714 (111th Congress, 2009–2010)

Text of the Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act of 2009

This bill was enacted after being signed by the President on May 17, 2010. The text of the bill below is as of Oct 1, 2009 (Introduced).

This is not the latest text of this bill.

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Source: GPO

I

111th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 3714

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

October 1, 2009

(for himself and Mr. Pence) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs

A BILL

To amend the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to include in the Annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices information about freedom of the press in foreign countries, establish a grant program to promote freedom of the press worldwide, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act of 2009.

2.

Freedom of the press

(a)

Inclusion of additional information relating to freedom of the press worldwide in Annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

The Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 is amended—

(1)

in section 116(d) (22 U.S.C. 2151n(d)), as amended by section 333(c) of this division—

(A)

in paragraph (10), by striking and at the end;

(B)

in paragraph (11)—

(i)

in subparagraph (B), by striking and at the end; and

(ii)

in subparagraph (C), by striking the period at the end and inserting ; and; and

(C)

by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(12)

wherever applicable—

(A)

a description of the status of freedom of the press, including initiatives in favor of freedom of the press and efforts to improve or preserve, as appropriate, the independence of the media, together with an assessment of progress made as a result of those efforts;

(B)

an identification of countries in which there were violations of freedom of the press, including direct physical attacks, imprisonment, indirect sources of pressure, and censorship by governments, military, intelligence, or police forces, criminal groups, or armed extremist or rebel groups; and

(C)

in countries where there are particularly severe violations of freedom of the press—

(i)

whether government authorities of each such country participate in, facilitate, or condone such violations of the freedom of the press; and

(ii)

what steps the government of each such country has taken to preserve the safety and independence of the media, and to ensure the prosecution of those individuals who attack or murder journalists.

; and

(2)

in section 502B (22 U.S.C. 2304), by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(i)

The report required by subsection (b) shall include, wherever applicable—

(1)

a description of the status of freedom of the press, including initiatives in favor of freedom of the press and efforts to improve or preserve, as appropriate, the independence of the media, together with an assessment of progress made as a result of those efforts;

(2)

an identification of countries in which there were violations of freedom of the press, including direct physical attacks, imprisonment, indirect sources of pressure, and censorship by governments, military, intelligence, or police forces, criminal groups, or armed extremist or rebel groups; and

(3)

in countries where there are particularly severe violations of freedom of the press—

(A)

whether government authorities of each such country participate in, facilitate, or condone such violations of the freedom of the press; and

(B)

what steps the government of each such country has taken to preserve the safety and independence of the media, and to ensure the prosecution of those individuals who attack or murder journalists.

.

(b)

Freedom of the press grant program

(1)

In general

The Secretary of State shall administer a grant program with the aim of promoting freedom of the press worldwide. The grant program shall be administered by the Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor in consultation with the Undersecretary for Public Affairs and Public Diplomacy.

(2)

Amounts and time

Grants may be awarded to nonprofit and international organizations and may span multiple years, up to five years.

(3)

Purpose

Grant proposals should promote and broaden press freedoms by strengthening the independence of journalists and media organizations, promoting a legal framework for freedom of the press, or through providing regionally and culturally relevant training and professionalization of skills to meet international standards in both traditional and digital media.

(c)

Media organization defined

In this section, the term media organization means a group or organization that gathers and disseminates news and information to the public (through any medium of mass communication) in a foreign country in which the group or organization is located, except that the term does not include a group or organization that is primarily an agency or instrumentality of the government of such foreign country. The term includes an individual who is an agent or employee of such group or organization who acts within the scope of such agency or employment.

(d)

Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out this section.