The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) Thursday expressed its strong support for its member unions in the United States in their protest about the "shameful treatment" of journalists by police during the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.
"As well as teargassing the residents of Ferguson protesting the killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown, the police conducted themselves like a military force in intimidating journalists, even ordering local news crews to leave the area. This was a shameful assault on the right of journalist to do their job of reporting what was going on in Ferguson," said IFJ President Jim Boumelha in a statement.
"This incident is a serious attack on the right to know of US citizens and marks a significant threat to a free press that is supposed to be protected and a violation of the First Amendment," he said.
The IFJ said it supports the efforts of one of its member unions in the US, the Newspaper Guild-CWA, in seeking to meet Thomas Jackson, Ferguson Police Chief, and Ferguson Mayor, James Knowles.
According to media reports, a black teenager who was killed by police in Ferguson last week has sparked days of violent clashes between police and demonstrators. The Brussels-based IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 134 countries.