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Journalists arrested during Republican convention will not be prosecuted

(RSF/IFEX) - The "Minneapolis Star Tribune" newspaper reported on 19 September 2008 that the St. Paul authorities will not prosecute journalists who were picked up in the course of mass arrests that took place in St. Paul, Minnesota, on 1 September during the Republic Party convention.

The newspaper quotes St. Paul mayor Chris Coleman as saying the city authorities have decided not to prosecute journalists charged with misdemeanour offences and that they will use a "very broad" definition of who, among the approximately 800 people arrested, is considered to be a journalist.

Among those who will not be prosecuted are Amy Goodman, the host of the "Democracy Now!" television and radio programme, and two of her reporters and producers, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar, who were charged with disrespect for a police officer, obstruction of justice and incitement to riot. They were also the victims of police violence.

RSF welcomes the outcome of this situation and hopes a similar decision is made with respect to ABC News producer Asa Eslocker, who was arrested and charged with trespassing, interference, and refusing to obey a lawful order during the Democratic Party convention in Denver on 27 August. He is due to appear in court on 25 September.

Updates alerts on the targeting of journalists at the 2008 Republican National Convention:

For further information about the Eslocker case, see:

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