Group wants charges against 3 documentary filmmakers dropped

AP News
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Posted: Oct 20, 2016 7:48 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — A media watchdog is calling on prosecutors in North Dakota and Washington state to drop charges against three documentary filmmakers arrested while filming protests against oil pipelines.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said Thursday the filmmakers were arrested Oct. 11 as participants in a multistate protest and were charged with a range of felonies.

CPJ deputy executive director Robert Mahoney says recording civil disobedience and arrests is news-gathering, not conspiracy. He says prosecuting filmmakers for covering protests sends a chilling message. He says he wants authorities to "stop interfering with journalists doing their jobs."

The arrests came shortly after another journalist filming protests against a North Dakota pipeline project was charged with trespassing.

North Dakota prosecutors have no comment. Washington prosecutors haven't responded to a request for comment.