Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Police Seek Criminal Charges Against Journalist Covering Gaza Protest


Canada Montreal journalism repression police Gaza protest arrest charges criminalization intimidation

This is just the latest incident in the Montreal police’s well-documented history of attacking the free press.

Savanna Craig stayed up until dawn the first three nights after she was arrested.

Craig, a journalist, was detained while covering a protest. For a reporter to be detained while covering a protest isn’t unheard of in Canada, but they are usually released after identifying themselves as press. Sometimes, police even apologize for the inconvenience. 

But that’s not what happened this time.

The 27-year-old journalist was arrested on April 15 while covering a sit-in at the Scotiabank on McGill College Ave. Now, in what may be a first for the city, Montreal police are pursuing a charge of criminal mischief against her. It is the same charge facing 44 protesters who staged the sit-in to protest Scotiabank’s investment in Elbit — an Israeli defence contractor that is profiting from the war on Gaza.

If convicted, Craig could face up to two years in prison, be prevented from travelling outside of Canada and see her career go up in smoke just as it’s beginning. And while her lawyer says a conviction is unlikely, Craig is still having a hard time coping.

“Those first few nights, I just laid in bed and ruminated until 5 a.m.,” said Craig, who was on assignment for a Montreal-based outlet called Community University Television. “Could I have done anything differently? What’s going to happen to me? It’s scary to think where this could go.”  (more...)

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