VIENNA, 19 September 2012 – The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatovic, today expressed concern once again about police treatment of the media covering demonstrations marking the one-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York City.
At least five members of the media were taken into custody by police, including photojournalist Julia Reinhold, who was wearing a press pass issued by the National Press Photographers Association.
“It is incumbent upon police to allow the media to report on events that are in the public view and interest,” Mijatovic said. “Indiscriminately rounding up media covering the Occupy Wall Street protests sends a disturbing signal about the police’s respect for media freedom.”
“The police should rather facilitate the work of journalists, not harass and arrest them. Authorities must demand that their law enforcement agencies respect the rights and duties of media.”
Mijatovic earlier spoke out on law-enforcement treatment of the media in December 2011, when police arrested journalists reporting on the initial Occupy Wall Street demonstrations across the United States.
The Office of the Representative on Freedom of the Media issued a special report in 2007 on how to treat media during public protests. It is available at http://www.osce.org/fom/25744