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Anger after the arrest of two journalists in the indigenous protest in Canada | Canada

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Press organizations in Canada have condemned the arrest of two journalists who were arrested while covering indigenous-led resistance to a controversial pipeline project and remain in custody.

Amber Bracken, an award-winning photojournalist who previously worked with the Guardian, and Michael Toledano, a documentary filmmaker, were arrested on Friday by Canadian Royal Police officers who were enforcing a court order in British Columbia. . More than a dozen protesters were also arrested.

Bracken was on duty for environmental media Narwhal, who had previously informed police that Bracken was reporting to the area.

Narwhal is extremely concerned that photojournalist Amber Bracken was arrested for carrying out her duty while reporting on events unfolding in Wetsuweten territory on Friday, editor-in-chief Emma Gilchrist said in a statement. Bracken was held in jail for three nights, violating her statutory rights. We strongly condemn the RCMP for this conduct and all violations of press freedoms in this country.

Gilchrist told the Guardian that the publication had not been able to access Brackens’ photos since the day she was arrested.

The Canadian Association of Journalists has condemned the arrests and demanded the immediate release of the two journalists.

Bracken and Toledano have spent each month documenting tensions over the 670km Coastal GasLink pipeline that would transport natural gas from the northeastern part of the province to a facility in Kitimat. While a number of communities have approved the project along the proposed pipeline route, the hereditary leaders of the Wetsuweten peoples have refused to give their consent to the project, which runs through their traditional territory. The Wetsuweten have never signed a formal treaty with the provincial government and have not relinquished their land.

Police behavior against indigenous-led blockades has drawn criticism in the past, and in 2019 the Guardian revealed that the RCMP was preparing to shoot activists.

In recent months, during a special blockade against deforestation of old forests, police responded removing protesters’ masks to be sprinkled with pepper and dragging them by the hair.

Last month, a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia decided that eviction areas of police forces set up to prevent media access to certain areas of the detention area were illegal.

The RCMP said in a statement over the weekend that its officers were enforcing a provincial court ruling handed down to Coast GasLink, which prohibits protesters from blocking a forest road used by construction crews.

The statement says police found a structure built on the service road and ordered people to leave after reading the injection. Police then broke down the structure’s doors and arrested 11 people, including Bracken and Toledano, who police said identified themselves as freelance journalists.

The two will appear before Prince George’s court on Monday.

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2/ https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/nov/22/canada-two-journalists-detained-indigenous-pipeline-protest

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