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Barack Obama calls for Asia free press, sidesteps US case

India TV News Desk 14 Nov 2014, 12:25:30 PM IST
India TV News Desk

Yangon: President Barack Obama is pressing for greater press freedoms in Myanmar and China but is sidestepping questions about the status of a New York Times reporter whom U.S. prosecutors want to testify in a leak investigation.

Obama says he has been “pretty blunt and pretty frank” with leaders in China and Myanmar that societies that repress journalists ultimately repress their people as well.

He said he could not comment specifically on the case of former CIA operative Jeffrey Sterling, who prosecutors allege disclosed classified information about Iran operations to journalist James Risen. They have said Risen's testimony is integral to their case.

Obama said the U.S. protects press freedoms. He reiterated remarks by Attorney General Eric Holder that no journalists will go to jail for doing their job.