The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) calls on Montreal police to immediately drop the ‘mischief’ charge levied against Savanna Craig, a journalist with CUTV, who was covering a protest at a downtown bank earlier this week.

Craig attended the protest on Monday after receiving a tip from a source. On numerous occasions, she explained to Montreal police officers that she was attending the protest as a journalist.

When questioned by officers about her affiliation, she provided agents with a press pass that showed her name, the name of her employer, her job title, a photo, and a bar code that linked to the CUTV social channels.

Officers at the site of the protest told her she didn’t ‘look’ like a journalist because, for example, she was not wearing a press vest often worn by correspondents in conflict zones.

In speaking with the CAJ, Craig confirmed she did not participate in any protest activities. Her sole focus was on documenting events.

“Every time a journalist is prevented from doing their job, the public’s right to know is irreparably harmed,” said Brent Jolly, president of the CAJ.

“This is another example of publicly-funded agencies erecting roadblocks that prevent journalists from doing their jobs that help keep their communities informed. Whether it’s being threatened with detention and/or arrest; subjected to so-called exclusion zones; or becoming prey to obsequious reasoning used to justify misguided actions, authorities are threatening to undermine the democratic legitimacy of the institutions they purport to serve.”

The CAJ is Canada’s largest national professional organization for journalists from all media, representing members across the country. The CAJ’s primary roles are to provide high-quality professional development for its members and public-interest advocacy.

For further information: Brent Jolly, president, Canadian Association of Journalists, brent@caj.ca

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