MOSCOW, August 14 (RIA Novosti) - The arrest of US journalists while they were covering riots in the American city of Ferguson, Missouri is unacceptable, an OSCE representative for freedom of mass media Dunja Mijatovic said in a press statement published Thursday.
“Summarily rounding up journalists while they are doing their jobs sends a dangerous precedent and must never be condoned,” Mijatovic said. “Journalists have the right to report on public demonstrations without being intimated by the police.”
Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery and Huffington Post reporter Ryan J. Reilly were taken into custody by local police on late Wednesday as they were filing reports on demonstrations over the fatal police shooting of a black teenager.
Tensions began to rise as a large police SWAT team came on the scene around 4:00 pm local time on Wednesday, ordering demonstrators to disperse, The Huffington Post reported.
The protests are staged in response to a Saturday incident in which a white police officer fatally wounded unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in the St. Louis suburb.
Local officials are attempting to ease tensions in Ferguson, assuring the city of 21,000 that the investigation into the death of Brown will be both transparent and unbiased. Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson and other city officials gather in a town-hall style meeting on the situation Tuesday night.