Over 300 Attacks On Journalists Covering US Riots

by GoNews Desk 3 years ago Views 2016

Over 300 Attacks On Journalists Covering US Riots
More than 300 press freedom violations are reported nationwide by journalists covering demonstrations against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd since May 26, according to data collected by the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, a founding partner of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

In response to reports of attacks, the CPJ has called on US authorities across the country to stop targeting journalists covering protests and let them do their jobs safely.

“We write to you demanding that you take immediate action to stop the alarming number of assaults on journalists who are lawfully covering protests in your communities,” a ‘rare’ letter written to the State and local government officials said.

The CPJ demanded the authorities take steps to ensure that journalists are protected and that the perpetrators are held to account and also asked to “exempt media from curfew restrictions”.

“The majority of those reports involve police officers acting against journalists, who describe being shot with rubber bullets or other projectiles, sprayed or gassed with chemical irritants, or smacked, shoved, or pushed to the ground,” the letter said.

Many of those journalists say they were attacked or arrested even after clearly identifying themselves as press and offering to move as asked. “What is the point of press credentials issued by your agencies if armed officers can ignore them and treat journalists as criminals?” it asked.

Meanwhile, the CPJ has also written to President Trump, urging him to “speak out forcefully against these attacks and in support of the rights of journalists to report freely”.

“We call on you to send a clear and unambiguous message across the country and around the world about the importance of the press freedom and work of the press. Local leaders need to hear unambiguously from you that they have a responsibility to fully investigate these attacks, protect journalists, and ensure that they can work unobstructed and without fear of injury or reprisal,” the committee said in the letter.

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