Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar Released After Illegal Arrest at RNC

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Democracy Now!

Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar Released After Illegal Arrest at RNC

Goodman Charged with Obstruction; Felony Riot Charges Pending Against Kouddous and Salazar

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Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman (pictured) and producers Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar have all been released from police custody in St. Paul following their illegal arrest by Minneapolis Police on Monday afternoon.

ST.
PAUL - Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman and producers Sharif Abdel
Kouddous and Nicole Salazar have all been released from police custody
in St. Paul following their illegal arrest by Minneapolis Police on
Monday afternoon.

All three were violently manhandled by law
enforcement officers. Abdel Kouddous was slammed against a wall and the
ground, leaving his arms scraped and bloodied. He sustained other
injuries to his chest and back. Salazar's violent arrest by
baton-wielding officers, during which she was slammed to the ground
while yelling, "I'm Press! Press!," resulted in her nose bleeding, as
well as causing facial pain. Goodman's arm was violently yanked by
police as she was arrested.

On Tuesday, Democracy Now! will
broadcast video of these arrests, as well as the broader police action.
These will also be available on: www.democracynow.org

Goodman
was arrested while questioning police about the unlawful detention of
Kouddous and Salazar who were arrested while they carried out their
journalistic duties in covering street demonstrations at the Republican
National Convention. Goodman's crime appears to have been defending her
colleagues and the freedom of the press.

Ramsey County Sheriff
Bob Fletcher told Democracy Now! that Kouddous and Salazar were
arrested on suspicion of rioting, a felony. While the three have been
released, they all still face charges stemming from their unlawful
arrest. Kouddous and Salazar face pending charges of suspicion of
felony riot, while Goodman has been officially charged with obstruction
of a legal process and interference with a "peace officer."

Democracy
Now! forcefully rejects all of these charges as false and an attempt at
intimidation of these journalists. We demand that the charges be
immediately and completely dropped.

Democracy Now! stands by
Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar and condemns this action by Twin Cities'
law enforcement as a clear violation of the freedom of the press and
the First Amendment rights of these journalists.

During the
demonstration in which the Democracy Now! team was arrested, law
enforcement officers used pepper spray, rubber bullets, concussion
grenades and excessive force against protesters and journalists.
Several dozen demonstrators were also arrested during this action,
including a photographer for the Associated Press.

Amy Goodman is
one of the most well-known and well-respected journalists in the United
States. She has received journalism's top honors for her reporting and
has a distinguished reputation of bravery and courage. The arrest of
Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar and the subsequent criminal charges and
threat of charges are a transparent attempt to intimidate journalists.

Democracy
Now! is a nationally-syndicated public TV and radio program that airs
on over 700 radio and TV stations across the US and the globe.

Video of Amy Goodman's Arrest: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYjyvkR0bGQ

 

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