CPJ urges respect for press freedom, journalist safety

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Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. As Congress prepares to affirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, thousands of people have gathered to show their support for President Donald Trump and his claims of election fraud. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Harlingen, Texas (KVEO)— In response to events on Wednesday in Washington D.C., the Committee to Protect Journalists issued a statement.

Live Updates: Officers secure Capitol as curfew takes effect in DC

“We are gravely concerned by today’s attack on American institutions, including the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., where journalists as well as lawmakers are at risk,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. “Journalists and news crews covering these events, which are of paramount public interest, must be able to do so freely and safely, with the support and protection of law enforcement. Intimidation and vandalism have already been carried out by violent protesters and there is a real possibility of escalating attacks on the media. We urge journalists and news organizations to take every precaution.”

Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered a citywide curfew starting at 6 p.m., which does not apply to essential workers including journalists with outlet-issued credentials.

Law enforcement officers secured the U.S. Capitol building after pro-Trump supporters breached the perimeter and entered the building as Congress met Wednesday afternoon, intending to vote and affirm Joe Biden’s presidential win.

The scene was declared a riot by police, and a curfew for DC takes effect soon.

The Senate recessed its debate over an objection to the results of the Electoral College after protesters forced police to lock down the building. One woman was shot inside the Capitol and taken to the hospital; she died from her injuries.

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