US Border Patrol Officers Must Stop Harassing Reporters - Rights Group

US Border Patrol Officers Must Stop Harassing Reporters - Rights Group

Journalists crossing into the United States after reporting on migrant caravans are being subjected to secondary screening, invasive questioning and told to turn over photographs by US border patrol agents, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said in a press release on Monday

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 12th February, 2019) Journalists crossing into the United States after reporting on migrant caravans are being subjected to secondary screening, invasive questioning and told to turn over photographs by US border patrol agents, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said in a press release on Monday.

"The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by reports that US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is harassing journalists or subjecting them to invasive questioning during secondary screening when they cross into the United States," the release said.

At least eight journalists told CPJ that US border agents questioned them during secondary screenings about their reporting on the migrant caravan.

"In at least six cases, the journalists said that agents asked to review photos or provide information about the migrant caravan," the release said.

The release cited a video published by the Intercept in which a border officer is recorded warning reporters that they can be charged with a misdemeanor or felony for "aiding and abetting" illegal aliens' entry into the United States.

The border patrol use of secondary screening is a pretext for questioning journalists about their reporting which is akin to treating media as informants and is a worrying sign for press freedom, CPJ North America Program Coordinator Alexandra Ellerbeck said in the release.

Journalists told CPJ that the agents' questions during secondary screenings often seemed more targeted at intelligence gathering than protecting the border.

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