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Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Journalists

Institute condemns arrest of journalists covering JSO protests

Press Release
Release date: 9 November 2022

The Chartered Institute of Journalists condemns the arrests of professional journalists while covering Just Stop Oil protests on the M-25 motorway.

The world’s longest established professional association of journalists says it is greatly alarmed by an increasing pattern of arrests of photographers and journalists carrying out their everyday work in public spaces.

Institute President Michael Hardware said: “It is unacceptable that law-abiding professional journalists properly identifying themselves, showing their press and media credentials are being detained, having their equipment seized, being placed in police custody and in some cases having their homes searched.”

He added: “These are prima facie breaches of Article 10 freedom of the media and expression rights. There is evidence that the police have been demanding to know why and how the journalists are there which is a potential breach of the time-honoured and well-established law protecting journalists’ sources.”

He said: “Even when the journalists have been released with no further action, great damage has been done to journalism freedom in terms of stopping them from doing their work, violating their personal dignity, and contributing to a chilling effect and fear that other journalists will have the same experiences.”

He called on the Home Secretary and The National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) to intervene and investigate immediately and prevent any repeat of the incidents being widely reported and complained about.