Tag Archives: arrest

Arrest of Journalists Intimidates Press at Crucial Moment for Reporting on Mass Protest

NEW YORK—The arrests of several journalists covering protests in Washington, D.C., on felony riot charges is an alarming encroachment on the right of the press to document public demonstrations, PEN America said in a statement today.

Evan Engel of Vocativ, Alex Rubinstein of RT America, freelance journalist Aaron Cantu, and documentary producer Jack Keller were arrested while covering protests on the day of Donald J. Trump’s inauguration, along with at least two other independent journalists. They appear to have been caught up in mass arrests by police after some protesters committed acts of vandalism. Rubinstein, Engel, and Keller have stated that they identified themselves as press to the police, but were arrested anyway.

Felony riot charges carry a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

“Even a few weeks ago, the prospect of large numbers of journalists in America facing criminal charges, fines, and prison terms for doing their jobs would have seemed far-fetched,” said Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director of PEN America. “By slapping these journalists with felony charges, the U.S. Attorney’s office is intimidating the press at a time when mass protests are expanding and there is a pressing need for accurate reporting in the public interest. It is the obligation of our government officials to enable rather than impair that. The U.S. Attorney should drop these charges immediately.”


PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.

Sarah Edkins, Director of Communications: [email protected], +1.646.779.4830

Source: https://pen.org/press-release/journalists-arrested-riot-charges-dc/

Rights Website Founder Formally Arrested For Subversion in China’s Hubei


Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch website founder Liu Feiyue is shown in an undated photo. Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch

Authorities in the central Chinese province of Hubei have formally arrested Liu Feiyue, the founder of a rights website, on subversion charges, fellow activists and relatives told RFA on Wednesday. Continue reading

Activist, Writer Held on Spying, Subversion Charges in China’s Sichuan



Sichuan rights activists Yang Xiuqiong (L) and Huang Qi (R) in photo taken before their detention, Feb. 18, 2016. Photo courtesy of activist Li Zhaoxiu.

Authorities in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan have formally arrested the founder of a rights website on state secrets charges while detaining a writer who criticized widespread air pollution on suspicion of subversion. Continue reading

Blogger and Activist Liu Yanli Charged with Defamation in China

November 4, 2016


NEW YORK – PEN America is disturbed that after more than a month in detention, blogger Liu Yanli, a member of the Independent Chinese PEN Center, has been formally charged with defamation for a few short social media messages posted to a closed group of online friends.

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NGO calls for release of 5 Chinese citizen journalists arrested during G20


Citizen journalists Huang Qi (left), Li Zhaoxiu (right) followed by several plainclothes agents (background), on Sept 5, 2016. Photo: RSF

Five women citizen journalists reporting for the independent news website 64Tianwang were kidnapped by Chinese police during the G20 summit in the southeastern city of Hangzhou, leaving their families without news of their loved-ones. Continue reading

Protest Blogger, Girlfriend Formally Arrested in China’s Yunnan

Authorities in the southwestern Chinese province of Yunnan have formally arrested a blogger who compiled detailed lists of protests and his girlfriend, on public order charges, rights groups said. Continue reading

Letter from international legal community condemns arrests of Chinese lawyers

Wang Yu Protest

Among the Chinese lawyers arrested recently was Wang Yu, a prominent human rights lawyer in China. AP photo / Mark Schiefelbein.

Prominent lawyers and former judges joined with presidents of international bar associations in condemning in a Monday letter the recent arrests of Chinese lawyers and associates. Continue reading

China pulls lawyers and activists into a dark zone of fear

By Editorial Board January 18 at 6:32 PM

Human rights lawyer Wang Yu talks during an interview with Reuters in Beijing in this March 1, 2014 photo. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/Files

Human rights lawyer Wang Yu talks during an interview with Reuters in Beijing in 2014. (Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters)

FOR ALL the semblance of a judicial system, with lawyers, judges and prosecutors, China’s courts remain a tool of a party-state that sees itself as above the law. People can be detained for months — they simply disappear — and only later formally charged or tried. In China, detention means being sucked into the vortex of arbitrary rule. Continue reading