On Tuesday, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) published the following letter on its site. Not addressed specifically to any law enforcement organization, the letter, dated May 3, expressed support for journalist Manuel Durán, who is currently being detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after being arrested by Memphis police for live streaming a protest. Even though the Memphis charges were later dropped, Durán is still being held by ICE in Louisiana detention center.
A Facebook post by NAHJ about the letter said the following: “We joined together with five other organizations and Manuel Duran’s attorney to craft a letter and file with the Board of Immigration Appeals. We’ll keep our members updated on any news surrounding Duran’s situation.”
The NAHJ letter was co-signed by five other journalistic organizations, including the National Association of Black Journalists and Reporters Without Borders. The letter (below) framed the Durán case as a case of press freedom. It did not call for the immediate release of Durán, as a Monday letter by other organizations did.
When news of Durán’s arrest occurred in early April, NAHJ did issue a statement calling for his release from ICE detention.
“Journalists should not be at risk for doing their jobs or exercising the right of freedom of the press,” part of the April statement read. “Immigration and Customs Enforcement need to free Duran because he should never have been arrested.”