Five photojournalists sue Homeland Security for violating First Amendment

Nov 25, 2019

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Five photojournalists sue Homeland Security for violating First Amendment

Nov 25, 2019

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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Five freelance photojournalists are suing the Department of Homeland Security for violating their First Amendment rights. The photojournalists claim that they were tracked, detained, and interrogated by Homeland Security while they were covering the issues along the U.S.-Mexico border in 2018 and 2019.

The plaintiffs are Bing Guan, Go Nakamura, Mark Abramson, Kitra Cahana, and Ariana Drehsler. They are all U.S. citizens and professional photojournalists. According to ACLU, U.S. border officers targeted them for secondary screening at the border, they “compelled them to disclose information about their sources and observations as journalists, and even searched through their photos and notes.” This reportedly happened on multiple occasions during 2018 and 2019.

Furthermore, all five journalists were reportedly identified in a secret government database that leaked in March 2019. The database included their headshots and personal information such as name, date of birth, occupation, and previous interrogations. “Three of the headshots were crossed out with a bold ‘X,’” ACLU claims. “A fourth, which was not crossed out, warned, ‘Pending Encounter,’ below it.”

Bing Guan, one of the photojournalists, said: “When I saw my photo crossed out in a secret government database, I realized the secondary screening and interrogation wasn’t random. I was being targeted by my own government for reporting on conditions at the border.”

In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs claim that they were asked to disclose information about their work when they sought to re-enter the United States. The lawsuit states that the U.S. border officers violated the First Amendment when they interrogated the photojournalists about their journalism work and activities.

Esha Bhandari, a staff attorney with ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, told ACLU: “A core principle of our democracy is the freedom of the press. That freedom is imperiled when the government uses the pretext of border screening to interrogate journalists who were simply doing their jobs.”

[via PDN, ACLU; image credits: succo on Pixabay]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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9 responses to “Five photojournalists sue Homeland Security for violating First Amendment”

  1. damn.eu Avatar
    damn.eu

    Just a bit surprised that they are surprised?

  2. Alexandre Ayoubi Avatar
    Alexandre Ayoubi

    Was it at colorado border?

  3. Dave Mac Avatar
    Dave Mac

    So wrong. -.-

  4. W Douglas LeBlanc Avatar
    W Douglas LeBlanc

    Evil border goons are EVIL! ??

  5. Andrew kennedy Avatar
    Andrew kennedy

    Got to love it keep up the good work Donald Trump keep the scum lowlife piece of garbage liberals out of our life they’re ruining America now onto 20/20 and let’s kick some I’ve got my panties in a bind liberal

  6. Georgia_Observer_II Avatar
    Georgia_Observer_II

    This is the kind of stuff the First Amendment Auditor on YouTube have been fighting against for a while. Check them out.

    1. Oh Ren Avatar
      Oh Ren

      Yeah. “First Amendment Auditors.” The first ones to complain, cry, and bitch when someone they are harassing tells them to fuck off. They only care about their first amendment rights. Not the people they are harassing. Quit making titles up to feel important.

      1. Mike Holgate Sr Avatar
        Mike Holgate Sr

        Fuck off cop

      2. Georgia_Observer_II Avatar
        Georgia_Observer_II

        Oh Ren, I can not argue with you. There are a certain segment of the First Amendment Auditors which will use their rights to legally harass the police and other public officials. Just as there is a certain segment of the police population which abuse their powers to enforce their personal preferences and prejudices. I am an auditor and I speak against the FTP crowd. Just because something is legal does not make it right. Look at slavery. It was legal, but was it right? You are focusing on a small segment of the auditors to condemn them all, which is just as bad as that small segment condemning all police over the actions of a few. I believe we need to do what we can to get rid of all bad auditors and all bad police.When looking at these situations, I suggest you consider looking though eyes of reason and fairness instead of unjustified prejudice.