Turkish journalist, arrested in Ferguson, USA, lawsuit settlement

This video from the USA says about itself:

MSNBC Host Blames Journalists For Getting Arrested In Ferguson

14 August 2014

“Following the arrest of two journalists covering the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, some conservative media figures are attacking the reporters for being insufficiently deferential to police, doing “the opposite of journalism,” and trying to make the story about themselves.

Protests in Ferguson are ongoing following an August 9 incident that resulted in a police officer shooting and killing unarmed teenager Michael Brown. On August 13, Huffington Post reporter Ryan J. Reilly and Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery were both detained by police in a Ferguson McDonald’s.

On MSNBC’s Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough responded to a recap of the arrests by saying, “I’m the one that always gets in trouble, I’ll get in trouble here.” Pointing to his son, a reporter for the Daily News, Scarborough said, “If I saw that video and my son was the one that the police arrested after that episode, I’d say Joey, here’s a clue. When the cops tell you, for like the thirtieth time, ‘let’s go,’ you know what that means, son? It means let’s go. I’m sorry.”

He continued, suggesting Lowery wanted “to get on TV and have people talk about [him] the next day.””

From Associated Press:

Turkish journalist settles lawsuit over arrest at Ferguson protests

July 24, 2015 – 7:29 pm EDT

FERGUSON, Missouri — A Turkish journalist has reached a settlement in a lawsuit against the St. Louis County Police Department over his arrest at the Ferguson police shooting protests.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri filed the federal lawsuit last year in St. Louis on behalf of Bilgin Sasmaz, a New York-based journalist for the Turkish Anadolu Agency.

The lawsuit claimed Sasmaz was thrown to the ground by an unidentified county officer and arrested for “refusing to disperse” after photographing a St. Ann police officer who was pointing his rifle at protesters. Sasmaz said he first identified himself as a journalist.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the case was dismissed Friday after the parties reached a settlement in the case in May. Terms of the settlement aren’t outlined in court records.

Journalists jailed for journalism in Ferguson, USA?

This video from the USA is called Peaceful Protesters And Journalist Are Attacked By Ferguson Police With Tear Gas And Rubber Bullets.

By Michael Calderone in the USA:

St. Louis County Still May Charge Journalists Arrested While Covering Ferguson Protests

Posted: 07/15/2015 12:37 pm EDT

St. Louis County prosecutors will soon decide whether to bring trespassing charges against two journalists arrested while covering demonstrations last summer in Ferguson, Missouri. The Huffington Post’s Ryan Reilly and The Washington Post’s Wesley Lowery recently learned that there are open investigations related to their Aug. 13, 2014, arrests and that the cases have been referred to the county counselor’s office, which primarily handles local ordinance violations. The St. Louis County Police Department filed incident reports in late April of this year describing the reporters as trespassing when they were seized at a McDonald’s restaurant. Prosecutors have until Aug. 13 to bring charges of trespassing, or another offense, before the one-year statute of limitations expires.

A conviction on trespassing in St. Louis County can result in a jail sentence of up to one year, a fine up to $1,000, or both. “Ryan and I have maintained from day one that our detention was unwarranted, unnecessary and illegal,” Lowery said in an email. “The idea that the prosecutor’s office would consider bringing formal charges in this incident is ludicrous. Officials in St. Louis County should drop this matter, release the relevant documents and allow us all to move on with our lives and onto more important elements of this story.”

“Wesley and I did nothing wrong in this scenario, which occurred shortly after officers with the St. Louis County Police Department trained sniper rifles at a crowd of peaceful protesters in broad daylight,” Reilly said in an email. “I have the backing of my newsroom and have absolutely no worries about facing any charges related to this incident in court,” Reilly added.

A police spokesman didn’t comment. A St. Louis County spokesman didn’t immediately provide comment from the counselor’s office. Reilly and Lowery were arrested at a McDonald’s being used by journalists covering demonstrations that erupted after the police killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. A police SWAT team entered the restaurant and, after some discussion, ordered it closed. The officers arrested Reilly and Lowery for supposedly not leaving quickly enough. They were released later that night without being charged.

Reilly said in a television interview at the time that a St. Louis County officer, who repeatedly declined to provide his name, shoved the reporter’s head against the glass while he was being ushered out in handcuffs. Lowery, in a first-person account published in The Washington Post, said an officer slammed him into a soda machine.

The arrests, part of broader crackdown on the press in Ferguson, were widely criticized by First Amendment advocates and by the reporters’ editors. Washington Post executive editor Marty Baron said the officers’ behavior “was wholly unwarranted and an assault on the freedom of the press to cover the news.”

Ryan Grim, Washington bureau chief for The Huffington Post, condemned the “militant aggression” toward journalists. Police did not create an arrest report of the encounter, a document that would include any charges. But St. Louis County police filed incident reports in late April. An incident report, typically one to two pages, provides very basic details of an interaction with police and lists an offense. Reilly and Lowery each said they only recently learned that the cases are still active through an attorney who has filed a $40 million lawsuit on behalf of five other people arrested in Ferguson from Aug. 11 to Aug. 13.

An investigative report related to those arrests — different from an incident report — includes case numbers for the still-pending matters involving Reilly and Lowery. An investigative report is a more detailed description of events than an incident report, including statements from those involved. Lowery and Reilly are briefly mentioned in that investigative report, though not by name. The report describes how the “two persons” arrested at McDonald’s on Aug. 13 had “made no effort to finish what they were doing and to pack their belongings,” a claim disputed by public comments the two reporters have made about the incident. (Lowery also posted video of an officer pushing him out of the restaurant.)

The investigative report also reveals the name of the officer who arrested Reilly — a fact the reporter was previously unable to get from police. Reilly obtained a copy of his incident report last month following public records requests. The offense listed on the report is “trespassing.” Lowery told HuffPost he understands police have also referred his case to prosecutors under the offense of trespassing. He initially tried to obtain his incident report, but withdrew the request pending the prosecutor’s decision on whether to bring charges. Lowery said in an interview that obstacles he and Reilly have faced in trying to obtain basic information about their cases provide “a window into a larger systemic issue.”

He suggested others arrested in Ferguson who don’t have the benefit of media legal teams are likely to find out even less. “If the cops won’t give me and Ryan paperwork,” he said, “who knows what they’re giving these people?” Reilly echoed that concern. “As a reporter, I honestly would have never imagined that it would be this difficult to obtain the name of the officer who assaulted and arrested me,” Reilly said in an email. “I can’t imagine how difficult this process must have been to navigate for those without my tremendous advantages, for people whose lives and careers were interrupted or damaged — not boosted — by their arrests.”

Reporters facing charges for Ferguson arrests part of ‘deliberate, unjustifiable’ interference with press, media expert says: here.

German government arrests journalist on behalf of Egyptian dictatorship

This video from Germany says about itself:

Germany: Protesters demand Germany release Al Jazeera reporter Ahmed Mansour

21 June 2015

Protesters gathered outside Berlin’s State Criminal Police Office in Berlin, Sunday, to demonstrate against the detention there of Al Jazeera journalist Ahmed Mansour.

The protesters also demonstrated against incumbent Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and the 2013 Egyptian government coup. Two of Mansour’s lawyers, Patrick Teubner and Fazli Altin, were also present. Teubner said German authorities had arrested Mansour despite Interpol rejecting an international arrest warrant that had been issued by the Egyptian authorities. “In this respect there are still unanswered questions,” the lawyer said.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Germany: Journalist held on Egyptian warrant

Monday 22nd June 2015

PROTESTERS called for the release of al-Jazeera journalist Ahmed Mansour yesterday after German authorities arrested him on an Egyptian warrant.

Egyptian-British Mr Mansour, a senior journalist with the Qatar-based broadcaster’s Arabic service, was detained at Tegel airport in Berlin on Saturday while trying to board a Qatar Airways flight to Doha.

He had previously been sentenced in absentia to 15 years in prison in Egypt for allegedly torturing an unnamed lawyer in Tahrir Square in 2011, a charge both he and al-Jazeera rejected.

“During the course of the day there will be several meetings and of course there can be at any time also a decision to set him free again,” said Berlin Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Martin Steltner.

In a video posted on Facebook, Mr Mansour criticised German authorities for detaining him on behalf of Egypt.

This video says about itself:

Germany: arrested Al Jazeera journalist expecting to face extradition judge

21 June 2015

A high-profile Al Jazeera journalist, arrested in Germany at the request of Egypt, says he is surprised about his detention.

Ahmed Mansour, who is a leading talk show host on the channel’s Arabic service, is expecting to face a judge who will decide on whether he should be extradited.

Cairo’s criminal court sentenced the journalist to 15 years in prison in absentia last year.

By Alex Lantier:

Germany arrests Al Jazeera journalist on warrant issued by Egyptian junta

22 June 2015

In an unprecedented move, the German government on Saturday detained senior Al Jazeera journalist Ahmed Mansour on the basis of an arrest warrant issued by the bloody regime of Egyptian military strongman Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Mansour was arrested at Tegel airport in Berlin. He was taken from court to prison in the Moabit district on Sunday, according to Berlin court spokesman Martin Steltner. “Today’s meeting was about formalities,” Steltner said, adding that “next week there will be an assessment regarding the validity of the warrant.”

On Monday, German courts will begin examining a request from the Sisi regime to extradite Mansour to Cairo, according to Mansour’s lawyer, Fazli Altin. Mansour, a dual British-Egyptian national, is receiving consular advice from British authorities.

“This case has clearly taken on a political dimension, and there are currently lots of background talks and various consulates are also involved,” said Patrick Teubner, a second lawyer for Mansour.

By honoring an arrest warrant issued by the Sisi junta, which has shot thousands in the streets of Egypt after launching a coup two years ago against Islamist President Mohamed Mursi, Berlin is endorsing the Egyptian junta and its frame-ups of journalists. It is a naked assault on freedom of the press and fundamental democratic rights.

This persecution of a journalist at the behest of a blood-soaked regime comes only months after German Chancellor Angela Merkel marched with other European leaders in Paris and proclaimed their devotion to freedom of the press and the rights of journalists following the attack on the anti-Islamic, racist French magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Dozens of protesters, including many Egyptians, gathered outside the Berlin court yesterday to protest Mansour’s arrest.

Last year, Egyptian courts imprisoned three journalists from Al Jazeera, a news channel based in Qatar, whose government is aligned with Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood (MB). The journalists were jailed on charges of acting to discredit the Sisi junta.

Correspondent Peter Greste, Cairo Bureau Chief Mohamed Fahmy, and news producer Baher Mohamed received prison terms of seven to ten years, though prosecutors provided no probative evidence against them. Prosecution witnesses contradicted prosecutors’ claims and suggested they had tampered with evidence. The trial attracted international condemnation and Cairo ultimately released Greste in February.

So noxious is the stench of criminality and blood that hangs over the Sisi junta, the international police agency Interpol refused to honor its request last year for a warrant against Mansour. In October, Interpol declared that the Sisi junta’s warrant request against Mansour “did not meet Interpol’s rules.”

In a statement issued Saturday, Mansour declared, “I informed [the German police] that the global police organization has rejected Egypt’s request and that I have this document from Interpol to prove that I am not wanted in any charge. I also told them that all the cases that were filed against me in Egypt were fabricated. They, however, insisted on holding me in their detention center for investigation. They told me that they will transfer me to face an investigating judge, who will determine my case.”

The accusations against Mansour are manifestly as baseless as those against Greste, Fahmy and Mohamed. Egyptian Foreign Minister Badr Abdelattie told the Associated Press that Egyptian judicial authorities, including the chief prosecutor in Cairo, were in contact with German authorities and are still trying to decide what charges to bring against Mansour. However, they apparently include claims that Mansour “harmed the reputation of Egypt massively” by his coverage, and that he tortured an unidentified lawyer during mass protests in 2011.

“It’s unacceptable for freedom of the press and embarrassing for Germany that Mansour is being held here on these clearly political allegations,” said Mansour’s lawyer, Altin.

The German government’s decision to act on politically-tainted allegations is an infamous act. Its arrest of a journalist—based on accusations of harming the reputation of a junta that massacres unarmed protesters and tortures thousands of political prisoners—amounts to outright censorship. If Mansour is deported to Egypt, he will undoubtedly face a long a prison term, or even a death sentence.

Media organizations denounced the jailing of Mansour. Reporters Without Borders issued a statement calling the detention “Egypt’s terrible revenge against journalists that cross the regime,” and warning that if Berlin decides to extradite Mansour, “it will be putting itself at the service of a dictatorial regime and will dishonor itself.”

Al Jazeera Acting Director General Mostefa Souag declared, “The crackdown on journalists by Egyptian authorities is well known. Our network, as the Arab world’s most watched, has taken the brunt of this. Other countries must not allow themselves to be tools of this media oppression, least of all those that respect freedom of the media as does Germany.”

Like Washington, the European financial aristocracy supports the Sisi junta, which they see as the only force capable of suppressing the revolutionary struggles of the Egyptian working class that broke out in 2011. Earlier this month, Sisi traveled to Berlin, where he was showered with honors and tens of billions of euros in defense contracts and business deals. (See: Al-Sisi in Berlin: Red carpet for the hangman of Cairo) He was similarly received in earlier visits to Paris and Rome.

The arrest of Mansour marks, nonetheless, an escalation in the brazenness of the European Union (EU) powers’ support for the Sisi regime.

It is a calculated signal sent by Berlin that it is ready to publicly collaborate with repressive measures by military dictatorships taken, as in Egypt, to muzzle the press and crush opposition in the working class—despite popular opposition in Europe itself.

One of the intended recipients of this message is doubtless the Greek premier, Alexis Tsipras. He is currently seeking to renegotiate austerity measures demanded by Berlin and the EU, which are threatening to cut off credit to Greece and drive it into bankruptcy, though at the risk of provoking a new global financial meltdown and the possible disintegration of the EU itself.

Greece was ruled from 1967 to 1974 by the junta of the colonels, which came to power in a CIA-backed coup and employed mass torture and murder to suppress popular opposition.

If Berlin is capable of working so openly with the Egyptian junta, it will have no difficulty making arrangements with a new Greek military junta imposed to enforce austerity on the working class. Tsipras can see what his intended fate would be in such a scenario by looking south across the Mediterranean to Egypt, where Mursi is in jail on trumped-up charges, facing multiple death sentences.

AL-JAZEERA journalist Ahmed Mansour who was detained in Germany on Saturday on an Egyptian arrest warrant, was released from custody yesterday. Berlin prosecutors’ office spokesman Stefan Stoehr confirmed that Mr Mansour “is free,” but he was unable to provide any more details: here.