Stop the prosecution of journalist Andrea Sahouri
©Credit @Andrea Sahouri
On the night of May 31, police in Iowa pepper sprayed, arrested, and detained Andrea Sahouri, a journalist with the Des Moines Register, while she was reporting on a Black Lives Matter protest. She was arrested and detained despite repeatedly identifying herself as a journalist. Send a message to the prosecutors: Reporting is not a crime. Dismiss all charges against Andrea Sahouri.
Andrea told Amnesty that after police in riot gear showed up and ordered protesters to disperse, people began running in multiple directions. As the police fired tear gas, Andrea ran with protesters into a busy commercial intersection and police charged at them. Even as she kept yelling, “I’m press, I’m press,” she was pepper sprayed on her arms and face twice at close range. The police arrested her and cuffed her in zip ties behind her back, and placed her in a police van. She was cited for failure to disperse and interference with official acts. Out of six reporters in the USA Today network, she is the only one still facing charges.
Amnesty documented Andrea’s case among 125 examples of human rights abuses by U.S. law enforcement officials at Black Lives Matter protests, in our recent report The World is Watching. Act now: Amid this surge in violent tactics, we’ve got to speak up for the right to protest — as well as the right to press freedom.