NEW YORK, April 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In a letter addressed to presidentially-appointed members of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), a federal agency which oversees U.S. international broadcasts, Annette Lantos urges a reversal of their decision to silence Voice of America Tibetan radio broadcasts and to shut down the VOA Cantonese Service providing uncensored news to China.
The wife of the late Congressman Tom Lantos, with whom she had worked for many years on numerous human rights campaigns around the world, also pleads with the BBG to restore Voice of America broadcasting to Russia, which had been suspended in 2008 and only partially renewed.
The Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting welcomes Mrs. Lantos' plea in support of U.S. international broadcasting to nations and groups suffering from human rights abuses. BBG members should pay attention to these words of a Holocaust survivor:
"The VOA broadcasts fanned the fires of resistance in the brave underground fighters who sought to destroy the brutal Nazi totalitarianism from within. To cut off the VOA broadcasts would have been to cut off the very legs of the resistance. The same is true today in nations ruled by totalitarian regimes."
CUSIB believes that the proposed broadcasting cuts and firing of nearly 300 Voice of America and other BBG journalists and staffers will harm U.S. national security and the cause of human rights and freedom around the world. CUSIB also believes that the Broadcasting Board of Governors is making a mistake in cutting essential programs while maintaining and even increasing non-programming spending and outside contracting.
CUSIB joins Mrs. Lantos in her plea to the Broadcasting Board of Governors and hopes that President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and members of Congress from both parties will ask the BBG to change its course:
"I know that my late husband, Congressman Tom Lantos, would have fought to save the VOA Russian, Tibetan, and Cantonese Broadcast Services -- to use all available means to deliver uncensored news, hope and encouragement to those seeking freedom. How could I do any less?"
The Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB) is an independent, nongovernmental organization which supports free flow of uncensored news from the United States to countries without free media.
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SOURCE Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting