World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Journalist Facing Criminal Charges For Reporting On Homeless Encampment In Oregon

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the authorities to drop all charges against a journalist who was arrested while covering evictions of homeless people from a park in Oregon, and urges officers to respect journalists’ First Amendment right to report on police activity without fear of retaliation.

Police in Medford County, Oregon, arrested award-winning journalist April Ehrlich on September 22 for interviewing homeless people displaced by Oregon wildfires as officers swept their park encampment. Ehrlich, a reporter for NPR affiliate station Jefferson Public Radio and vice president of Oregon’s Society for Professional Journalists, had been on the scene since the early morning to document police enforcement of a 24-hour eviction notice. After Ehrlich declined to go to the police-designated “media staging area” at a park entrance, where it was impossible to fully observe interactions between officers and campers, police arrested her for proceeding to enter the zone being cleared. Ten other people were arrested at the scene the same day.

Though Ehrlich was released later that afternoon, she faces baseless charges for second-degree criminal trespassing, interfering with a police officer and resisting arrest. If convicted on charges of interfering with a police officer and resisting arrest, Ehrlich could face $6,250 in fines and 364 days in prison. Second-degree criminal trespassing carries a prison term of 30 days and fines of up to $1,250.

“It is appalling that the Medford Police arrested and brought criminal charges against April Ehrlich for reporting on a matter of public interest in a public park,” said Daphne Pellegrino, Advocacy Manager for RSF USA. “These charges should be dropped and the Medford Police Department should take steps to ensure authorities do not subject journalists to such punitive measures in the future.”

The United States ranked 45th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2020 World Press Freedom Index.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

OECD: COVID-19 Crisis Puts Migration And Progress On Integration At Risk, Says

Watch the live webcast of the press conference Migration flows have increased over the past decade and some progress has been made to improve the integration of immigrants in the host countries. But some of these gains may be erased by the COVID-19 pandemic ... More>>


Pacific Media Watch: How Pacific Environmental Defenders Are Coping With The Covid Pandemic

SPECIAL REPORT: By Sri Krishnamurthi of Pacific Media Watch Pacific Climate Warriors - creative action to trigger better responses to climate crisis. Image: ... More>>

Reporters Without Borders: Julian Assange’s Extradition Hearing Marred By Barriers To Open Justice

After monitoring four weeks of evidence in the US extradition proceedings against Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates concern regarding the targeting of Assange for his contributions to journalism, and calls ... More>>

OHCHR: Stranded Migrants Need Safe And Dignified Return – UN Migrant Workers Committee

The UN Committee on Migrant Workers has today called on governments to take immediate action to address the inhumane conditions of migrant workers who are stranded in detention camps and ensure they can have an orderly, safe and dignified return to ... More>>