TORONTO, Oct. 23, 2013 /CNW/ - PEN Canada's National Affairs Committee
is concerned by the wrongful treatment of journalists during recent
anti-fracking protests at Elsipogtog, NB, particularly the arrest of Halifax Media Co-op journalist Miles Howe who was arrested while taking pictures on Oct. 17.
The RCMP twice reduced charges against Howe before finally releasing
him with no charges.
"No one in Canada may be arrested for the simple act of photographing or
filming in public places or on private property that is open to the
public," said William Kowalski, Chair of PEN Canada's National Affairs
PEN Canada is also concerned that journalists from several news outlets
had their equipment confiscated temporarily by protesters at
Elsipogtog. Journalists and others have the right to photograph or film
without unreasonable or illegal interference. Journalists must be free
to do their work without harassment, intimidation, or fear of reprisal.
Our constitution explicitly protects freedom of the press and other
media of communication as essential elements of freedom of expression.
Filming and photography rights
PEN Canada has taken an active interest in public photography and
filming rights. This is of particular concern given recent examples of
the infringement on these rights.
During the G20 protests that took place in Toronto in 2010, a number of
journalists had their equipment confiscated and were subjected to
aggressive crowd dispersal techniques.
In 2012, while searching a home, police prevented neighbours from
filming them and confiscated the homeowners' cellphones so they could
not take pictures.
In June 2013, Toronto Star photographer Alex Consiglio was arrested for trespassing while taking
pictures of an injured GO Transit officer at Union Station in Toronto.
Full text on these cases available here: http://pencanada.ca/blog/public-photography-is-not-a-crime/
Pocketbook guide to photography and filming rights available here:
PEN Canada is a nonpartisan organization of writers that works with
others to defend freedom of expression as a basic human right at home
and abroad. PEN Canada promotes literature, fights censorship, helps
free persecuted writers from prison, and assists writers living in
exile in Canada.
SOURCE: PEN Canada
For further information:
(416) 703-8448 ext. 21