WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama expressed "alarm about the growing number of journalists silenced" in a statement released Friday, maintaining that he was especially concerned over the recent detention of U.S. journalists Roxana Saberi in Iran and Euna Lee and Laura Ling in North Korea.
"Even as the world recognizes the central and indisputable importance of press freedom, journalists find themselves in frequent peril," the president said in a White House release. "I lend my voice of support and admiration to all those brave men and women of the press who labor to expose truth and enhance accountability around the world."
President Obama also acknowledged the responsibility of journalists while recognizing World Press Freedom Day, celebrated May 3.
"It is a day in which we celebrate the indispensable role played by journalists in exposing abuses of power, while we sound the alarm about the growing number of journalists silenced by death or jail as they attempt to bring daily news to the public," the president said.