WASHINGTON D.C. – Before family and friends of the lateWall Street Journal reporter, Daniel Pearl, President Barack Obama signed into law, the Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act. Gathered in the Oval Office with President Obama were his widow, Marlane, his parents, Judea and Ruth, his siblings, Michelle and Tamara, along with his son, Adam, who, will turn 8 years old on May 28th. Other guests included Senator Chris Dodd and Representative Adam Schiff, who were the primary sponsors of the bill.
The Bill, now known as H.R. 3714 – The Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act, was originally introduced to Congress by Senator Chris Dodd on October 1, 2009. Almost 7 months later, on April 30, 2010, the Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act passed in Congress. Today, signed into law, The Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act requires the State Department in its annual Human Rights Reports to recognize global threats to journalists, listing the countries and the governments that partake in heinous crimes against them.
The president, who was asked a question by reporter, Chip Reid, said that he would not respond to any questions. He was honoring Daniel Pearl’s life today, with a firm conviction that this new law will send a “strong message,” aiding future journalists.
Daniel Pearl, 38 years old in 2002, was kidnapped, tortured and later beheaded, while on assignment in Pakistan. He was the South Asian Bureau Chief for The Wall Street Journal. He died February 1, 2002. His body was found in multiple pieces on May 16th, in a small grave on the outer parts of Karachi.
A native of Princeton, New Jersey, Pearl grew up in Encino, California. He is buried in Los Angeles.
In conclusion, President Obama thanked his family for their strength and courage. He referenced that this law will ensure Daniel Pearl’s “legacy will live on!”