16 Sep 2020: posted by the editor - Human Rights, Journalism, Canada
By Reporters Without Borders
An Indigenous Canadian journalist has been arrested and charged with criminal mischief in relation to his reporting on an Indigenous land dispute in southern Ontario.
Karl Dockstader, an award-winning journalist from the Indigenous Oneida Nation of the Thames, was arrested on September 2 in relation to his coverage of a land dispute on an Indigenous territory. Dockstader had spent half the summer documenting Indigenous land defenders' efforts to resist construction of a residential development on Haudenosaunee land. The Ontario Provincial Police charged him with criminal mischief and failure to comply with a court ordered injunction. Police have banned him from returning to the site under threat of further charges. A court date has been set for Nov. 24.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has condemned the arrest and calls on the Ontario Provincial Police to drop all charges against him.
"It is deeply disappointing that the Ontario police have chosen to disregard Karl Dockstader's legally-protected right to report on this matter, which is of clear public interest to Canada and Indigenous people in the region," said Daphne Pellegrino, Advocacy Manager of RSF's North America bureau. "The Ontario Provincial Police should drop these charges and ensure that their actions do not infringe on the press covering such events moving forward."