New York, September 28, 2007— The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the U.S. Senate’s passage on Thursday of the Refugee Crisis in Iraq Act. Sponsored and supported by a broad spectrum of human rights and freedom of expression groups and a bi-partisan coalition of 17 U.S. senators, the act was agreed to by unanimous consent as an amendment to the bill authorizing the Defense Department’s annual budget. The act protects Iraqis who are associated with the U.S. government, and specifically allows Iraqis who have worked for media either based in the United States, or funded by the U.S. government, to apply for priority processing directly to the United State Admission program for refugees if they can demonstrate a credible fear of persecution. At least 112 journalists and another 40 media support workers have been killed in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003, making it the deadliest nation, by far, for the press throughout CPJ’s 26 years of monitoring press freedom.
Letter from CPJ in support of the Refugee Crisis in Iraq Act