Days after a Canadian border guard denied Danish journalist Kristian Lindhardt entry into Vancouver to cover the fight over the Trans Mountain pipeline, journalism associations here and abroad have “condemned” the deportation as an attack on press freedoms.
“Journalism is of vital importance particularly in times of crisis. Using COVID as an excuse to block a journalist is simply unacceptable,” said Martin O’Hanlon, president of the Canadian media union CWA Canada, in a statement put out on Tuesday by several organizations.
“It is especially troubling because COVID is now being used by many regimes as yet another way to crack down on press freedom, and Canada should be setting a positive example for the world. We urge the Canada Border Services Agency to reverse this decision,” said the statement.
That was echoed in Europe, where the Brussels-based International Federation of Journalists urged the Canadian government “to clarify the situation and guarantee freedom of information and access rights for foreign journalists.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic must not be used as an excuse to impede certain media coverages and hamper press freedom,” the organization’s general secretary Anthony Bellanger said in the statement. “The Canadian authorities haven’t provided a valid explanation to deport Mr. Lindhardt.”
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