February 6, 2017

US - RSF calls for criminal charges to be dropped against journalist covering Dakota Access pipeline protests

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for all criminal charges to be dropped against Jenni Monet, a journalist who was arrested February 1 while covering protests against the Dakota Access pipeline.

Monet was released on bond late on February 2. She has been charged with trespassing and "engaging in a riot" by Morton County, North Dakota prosecutors.

Monet maintains that she was simply doing her job as a journalist to cover a protest camp near the Standing Rock reservation as police attempted to disband it. At the time of her arrest she was on assignment for Indian Country Daily and the Center for Investigative Reporting. Monet said she was standing at a distance from the protesters and identified herself as a journalist. She told the Los Angeles Times yesterday that after police told her to leave she complied: "I was walking away, I was halfway down the hill, and they still arrested me." She also says officers never read her her Miranda rights and she was detained for 7 hours with other women "stripped down to our long johns” in metal cages in a parking garage near the Morton County jail, before being transferred to an indoor cell.

Monet, 40, also contributes frequently to PBS "News Hour."

Image credit: JIM WATSON / AFP