Paonia, Colo. - High Country News objects to the arrest of and excessive charges made against Native American journalist Jenni Monet, who has been covering protests against the North Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota.Monet, 40, was arrested by authorities in North Dakota last week. She has been released, but still faces charges for what was clearly an exercise of the freedom of the press. High Country News joins other news organizations in condemning any excessive activities by law enforcement that inhibit reporters from doing their work.
Monet, a journalist and member of the Laguna Pueblo tribe, has written dispatches for High Country News and is a professional, dedicated reporter, whose stories are critical to understanding a volatile, important moment in American history. She has faithfully covered the protests near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, providing important detail and context in a fast-moving story, in a fair and accurate manner.
Monet was wearing press credentials as she covered ongoing protests near the Standing Rock reservation. She provided her credentials to an officer when asked, but was arrested Feb. 1, at 4 p.m., Central, near protest encampments along Highway 1806. Monet was held for approximately 30 hours and was not released until 9 p.m., Feb. 2. She faces charges of criminal trespassing and engaging in a riot from Morton County prosecutors.
High Country News stands by the reporting of Jenni Monet and others, and we condemn the use of violence, intimidation, force, or extrajudicial measures to interfere with work important to democratic discourse, the freedom of assembly, and the freedom of the press. We urge the authorities to drop the charges against Jenni Monet.
For more information about High Country News, contact Brian Calvert, HCN managing editor, at 970-527-4898 or firstname.lastname@example.org.