- New Guatemalan president must work hard to improve press freedom
- Governments around the world crack down on journalists covering COVID-19
- Philippines COVID-19 state of emergency includes prison time for spreading ‘false news’
- Trust deficit: About This Report
- Trust deficit: Guatemala's new president must overcome skepticism to improve press freedom
- Trust deficit: 'The goal was to silence me'
- Journalist Adnan Rashidi tortured, robbed in Iraqi Kurdistan
- Iraqi security forces seize journalist’s belongings for allegedly violating COVID-19 curfew
- Egypt expels Guardian reporter Ruth Michaelson over COVID-19 coverage
Reporter Without Borders
- Cambodia: Hun Sen uses Covid-19 crisis to tighten his grip
- Coronavirus: Spanish government yields to the pressure of journalists and agrees to live press conferences
- Repressive laws, prosecutions, attacks… Europe fails to shield its journalists against the abuse of the COVID-19 crisis
- Cambodian reporter jailed for quoting PM’s comment about Covid-19
- Iran: Press freedom violations recounted in real time January 2020
- RSF calls on Trump to end attacks on journalists, encourages news outlets to assess coverage of COVID-19 briefings
- Bangladesh: Surge in violence against reporters orchestrated by local officials
- Comoros: Journalist threatened for exposing flaws in handling of coronavirus crisis
OPC Letter to NYC Mayor Bloomberg
The Hon. Michael Bloomberg
Mayor of New York
New York NY 10013
Dear Mr. Mayor:
The Overseas Press Club of America, based in New York, deplores the attempt by your police to prevent the press, as well as legal observers, from witnessing the removal of demonstrators from Zuccotti Park on Tuesday morning, as well as the arrests and mistreatment of reporters who tried to approach the park. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders, at least six journalists were arrested, some of them despite showing press passes issued by the NYPD; two were held for as much as four hours. Several others said they had been forcefully ejected from the park. One of them was seen being choke-held by an officer.
While we do not question the need to clear Zuccotti Park, we do question your policy of keeping the press at a distance. The police had been instructed in advance to keep the press away, and you yourself said the media were banned “to prevent a situation from getting worse and to protect members of the press.” Mr. Mayor, that is a protection journalists neither seek nor welcome.
As one who has often defended the freedom of the press – indeed, who has benefited enormously from that freedom – you surely see the need to allow the press to witness actions such as the clearing of Zuccotti Park. It was an event of major public concern, and the citizens of New York have a right to know how their police officers behave toward demonstrators who have been overwhelmingly peaceful, however noisy, persistent and disobedient of the statutes. By extension, your government has no right to bar access to journalists, who serve as the eyes and ears of the public on such occasions.
The OPC has been defending the rights of journalists around the world for seven decades, but it is seldom that we have to do so within the United States. We regret that we are compelled to write this letter to the generally beneficent mayor of a city that is a beacon of freedom.
Very truly yours,
Freedom of the Press Committee
The Hon. Raymond Kelly
Police Commissioner of the City of New York
One Police Plaza
New York, NY 10038
Attorney General Eric Holder
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224
Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20520