Thursday, February 16, 2023

Journalists seeking ‘real consequences’ in lawsuit against the RCMP


Canada journalism Narwhal CBC RCMP rights violation accountability consequences lawsuit aboriginal ancestral lands indigenous brutality violence lawlessness

‘Until now, Canadian police haven't had to face real consequences for their infringements on press freedom. That stops today’

On November 19, 2021, RCMP raided a camp on unceded Wet’suwet’en territory, smashing into a tiny house occupied by land defenders, and taking a photojournalist on assignment for The Narwhal into custody, along with another journalist on assignment for the CBC. Both would be held in custody for five days, unable to send photos they took to their editors or report on the story they were there to cover.

Now, The Narwhal is taking the unprecedented step of suing the RCMP.

Standing outside of British Columbia’s Supreme Court on Monday, Narwhal co-founders Emma Gilchrist and Carol Linnitt were joined by photographer Amber Bracken and lawyer Sean Hern to announce the legal action against the RCMP for an alleged violation of their rights under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“We are not filing this lawsuit for ourselves, but to clear a path for all journalists in Canada to do their work without police interference.”

“As a small, non-profit news outlet, The Narwhal certainly did not want to have to bring a lengthy and expensive lawsuit against one of the most powerful organizations in the country,” said Gilchrist at the news conference.

The lawsuit aims to establish “meaningful consequences” for police when they interfere with the constitutional rights of journalists covering events in injunction zones, she said. “To not move forward with this case would be to turn our back on what’s right.”  (more...)

Journalists seeking ‘real consequences’ in lawsuit against the RCMP

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