Crimes against Americans abroad: Who's being held accountable?

When Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian was released from Iran after 544 days imprisoned there, U.S. Diplomat Brett McGurk was in Geneva to meet his plane. Both men will discuss the question that came later: How do we hold the right people accountable for crimes against Americans unjustly detained abroad?

On April 2, the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation will host a distinguished panel uniquely qualified to explore that difficult dilemma. The program features the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation’s president and founder Diane Foley, the 2019 James W. Foley Freedom Award honorees, and Karim Khan, Special Advisor and Head of the UN Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for ISIS Crimes. The panel will be moderated by Wall Street Journal national security correspondent Nancy Youssef and feature Foley Freedom Award honorees:

  • Jason Rezaian, Washington Post journalist

  • Brett McGurk, former presidential envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS

  • Dr. Terrence Rynne, founder of the Center for Peacemaking at Marquette University

The program, co-sponsored by the National Press Club Journalism Institute, will be on April 2 from 10:30 am-noon in the Club’s Conference Rooms and will explore:

  • What does the path to meaningful justice look like for Americans whose family members were murdered by ISIS?

  • What should the US government be doing to help families in their pursuit of justice?

  • What can be done to prevent unjust detention, murder and other crimes against Americans working abroad?

That evening, the Foley Foundation will honor Brett McGurk with the Hostage Advocacy award, Jason Rezaian with the Press Freedom award and Dr. Terrence Rynne with the Humanitarian award. Tickets to the Awards dinner can be purchased here, along with table sponsorship.

The James W. Foley Legacy Foundation advocates for the safe return of all Americans detained abroad and protects independent journalists to report safely from conflict zones. The Foundation was created in 2014 after James Foley, the family’s oldest son, was held hostage and later beheaded by ISIS while working as a freelance conflict journalist in Syria.

The National Press Club Journalism Institute promotes an engaged global citizenry through an independent and free press, and equips journalists with skills and standards to inform the public in ways that inspire civic engagement. As the non-profit affiliate of the National Press Club, the Institute serves as a beacon for journalism in the public interest.

Registration for the panel discussion is free but required to attend.

Contact Julie Moos with any questions at jmoos@press.org.