Today, Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) released the following statement after Time Magazine recognized the Guardians and the War on Truth, including journalists Jamal Khashoggi, Maria Ressa, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, and news organization, the Capital Gazette of Annapolis, Maryland as the 2018 Person of the Year:
“Each year, Time Magazine announces the person who has most influenced the world. In recognizing four journalists and one news organization that exemplify the “Guardians and the War on Truth,” Time has acknowledged the extreme courage and great personal risk journalists take in the pursuit of uncovering and reporting the truth.
“The recognition of the late Jamal Khashoggi of the Washington Post, for which mounting evidence of whose death has implicated the Government of Saudi Arabia, marks the first time a deceased person has been given this honor. Khashoggi and the five journalists who were killed in the shooting at the Capitol Gazette this year paid the ultimate price for their dedication to reporting the truth. Journalists Jamal Khashoggi, Maria Ressa, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, and news organization, the Capital Gazette of Annapolis, Maryland should be honored for their dedication to the goal of informing the public and strengthening democracy. Indeed, they are deserving choices for this recognition.
“Undeniably, 2018 has been a tumultuous year fraught by worrisome attacks on freedom of the press and human rights in the United States and across the globe. From attempts to discredit reporting as ‘fake news’ for political gain to the jailing or murder of journalists – freedom of the press and human rights have disturbingly been under attack.
“As incoming Chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission and President Emeritus of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly, I am committed to standing up for freedom of the press, human rights, equality, justice, and human dignity.”
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings serves as Senior Member of the House Rules Committee, Ranking Democratic Member of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Co-Chairman of the Florida Delegation.