Barack Obama
Obama standing with his arms folded and smiling
44th President of the United States
In office January 20, 2009 – January 20, 2017
Vice President Joe Biden
Preceded by George W. Bush
Succeeded by Donald Trump
United States Senator from Illinois
In office January 3, 2005 – November 16, 2008
Preceded by Peter Fitzgerald
Succeeded by Roland Burris
Member of the Illinois Senate from the 13th district
In office January 8, 1997 – November 4, 2004
Preceded by Alice Palmer
Succeeded by Kwame Raoul
Personal details
Born Barack Hussein Obama II(1961-08-04) August 4, 1961 (age 55)Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Michelle Robinson (m. 1992)
  • Malia
  • Sasha
Relatives See Family of Barack Obama
Awards Nobel Peace Prize (2009)Profile in Courage Award (2017)

re human rights

Dear Wondesen,

When U.S. President Barack Obama convened leaders from more than 40 African countries for a historic three-day summit this week, press freedom was not on the agenda. But high-level advocacy from CPJ and other groups helped draw attention to the crucial links between press freedom and development.

On Wednesday, President Obama told journalists at a news conference that the U.S. was advocating for governments to uphold press freedom in the context of ensuring good governance. He responded to a question about the case of three journalists from the international broadcast network Al-Jazeera, who are imprisoned in Egypt on spurious terrorism charges. "We've been clear both publicly and privately that they should be released," said Obama. "And we have been troubled by some of the laws that have been passed around the world that seem to restrict the ability of journalists to pursue stories."

Earlier, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told a forum of civil society organizations, including CPJ, that, "We will continue to support press freedom, including for journalists charged with terrorism or imprisoned on arbitrary grounds."

That's good news, and with your support we will hold the administration to these commitments.

9 compositeClarence Page, a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the Chicago Tribune and longtime CPJ board member, moderated a panel on press freedom on the sidelines of the summit. He wrote a passionate column afterward, as he was reminded about some of the African journalists who were not present - "especially those who were sitting in a prison somewhere for the alleged 'crime' of doing their jobs as journalists."

CPJ is campaigning for the release of journalists across Africa - from Egypt to Ethiopia to the Kingdom of Swaziland. We advocate directly with governments responsible for abuses, and we persuade members of the international community to use their leverage to secure reforms. This fall, we are planning a high-level mission to Egypt to win the release of all imprisoned journalists and an end to media repression.

We need your help to carry out this important work. Your support makes all the difference - to individual journalists, and to communities whose lives and livelihoods depend on access to news and information. Please make a gift today:

Thank you for all you do to support press freedom.



Joel Simon

Executive Director

(Above: Nine Ethiopian journalists were arrested in April, including members of the Zone 9 bloggers' collective. Photographs courtesy of Zone 9, Addis Guday, Facebook)

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Sandy A.

Please somebody just let me talk to President Obama I know that this is minor butt it is very important to me. My number is 276-591-1660.