Sunday, December 28, 2014

Al Jazeera journalists teargassed by security forces — in Ferguson, Missouri, USA

Here is a sentence that will be immediately familiar to anyone who has ever followed even a little news out of the Middle East:

Journalists from the Qatari news outlet Al Jazeera were attacked by state security forces today and blanketed in tear gas, as they attempted to film an ongoing protest; this is the latest in a string of attacks on journalists by security forces.

Now see if you can guess the country. It's not Egypt. Not Tunisia.

Nope: this happened, exactly as described, in the United States of America on Wednesday night, in the Missouri town of Ferguson. Here is the video of Al Jazeera America journalists in Ferguson being clearly targeted with tear gas by Ferguson police (apologies for the poor quality):

It began as a joke to compare what's happening in Ferguson with the authoritarian crackdowns in Middle East dictatorships, but the parallels have ceased to become a joke. Also on Wednesday night, police arrested a Washington Post reporter named Wesley Lowery — he was the second Post reporter this year to be arrested for reporting; the first was Tehran Bureau Chief Jason Rezaian. The situation in Ferguson is simply out of control.

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