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19. 08. 2014


Vienna, 19.8.2014 (Tanjug, B92) - OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović called on U.S. law enforcement authorities to investigate arrests of reporters covering Ferguson demonstrations.

"I call on the authorities to thoroughly review the circumstances behind these incidents and to ensure that journalists covering news in Ferguson can work freely and safely," Mijatović said in the OSCE press statement.

Getty Images photojournalist Scott Olson was arrested yesterday and in a separate incident state police arrested and took German journalists Ansgar Graw and Frank Herrmann into custody. All three were later released.

The journalists were covering demonstrations in Ferguson, which have been taking place following the fatal shooting of a local resident last week.

The press statement says that on 13 August local law enforcement officers arrested Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery and Huffington Post reporter Ryan J. Reilly, and an Al Jazeera TV crew was sprayed with tear gas while reporting on the demonstrations.

"I fully recognize the sensitive situation in Ferguson but the right of media to cover public protests must be taken into account when law enforcement officials are maintaining public order," Mijatović said. "Journalists should not be intimidated by police."

Mijatović also noted U.S. President Barack Obama's condemnation of the arrests of journalists in Ferguson last week, the OSCE press statement says.

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