Group says journalists assaulted, detained

Nov. 17, 2011 at 9:45 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- A human rights group in Washington said Thursday it is concerned about journalists being assaulted and detained while covering the Occupy protests.

The Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, based in Washington, said in a release posted on its Web site that the assaults on and detention of journalists and media workers occurred in New York, Nashville and Oakland, Calif., in recent weeks.

The group called on authorities to protect journalists at public demonstrations.

The organization said it had received information that at least three journalists were allegedly assaulted by police officers and two others by protesters. It said at least a dozen other journalists allegedly were placed under temporary arrest while covering Occupy demonstrations.

"The disproportionate restrictions on access to the scene of the events, the arrests, and the criminal charges resulting from the performance of professional duties by reporters violate the right to freedom of expression," the group's statement said. "It is incumbent upon the authorities to reestablish guarantees and ensure full respect for the right to freedom of expression.

"In addition, it is the obligation of the states to prevent and investigate reported acts of violence, punish the perpetrators and assure that the victims receive adequate reparations, as established in the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression of the IACHR."

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