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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Statement by the Press Secretary on the President's Meeting with International Human Rights Activists

Today the President met with 24 human rights activists who are in Washington to attend a Human Rights Summit organized by two U.S. nongovernmental organizations, Freedom House and Human Rights First.  The meeting was hosted by National Security Advisor General James Jones, and included other senior National Security Staff.  The discussion covered a wide range of issues and countries and focused on the growing challenges for human rights defenders around the world.

The President commended attendees for their work on behalf of human rights, in some cases at risk to their own safety, and appreciated the opportunity to hear directly from them. The President pledged that his administration will continue to strive to live by the universal standards we champion, highlighted his commitment to engagement that extends to civil society and everyday citizens, and reiterated his support for a broad view that recognizes the crucial link between development and human rights.