London, August 22, 2014 – PEN International is alarmed by the ongoing harassment and arrests of journalists covering the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri following the police killing of an unarmed teenager, Michael Brown.
At least 14 journalists have been detained without charge including Ryan Reilly from the Huffington Post and Wesley Lowery from the Washington Post. They were held at a police station before being released without charge. Wesley Lowery later reported that the police had ‘slammed’ him into a vending machine without provocation. Similarly, other journalists have reported being intimidated and threatened by police, hit with rubber bullets and tear gas.
PEN International calls on Ferguson’s security forces to immediately stop the harassment and detention of journalists and allow them to carry out their work without fear for their freedom or safety.
‘Journalists and media workers have a right to cover the unrest in Ferguson and they should be free do so without fear. The intimidation and harassment of journalists must stop.’ – Marian Botsford Fraser, Chair of the Writers in Prison Committee.