July 12, 2018 – On July 13, 2018, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) will be marching in London to protest press freedom violations taking place in the United States. RSF’s UK bureau will be joining the mass demonstration scheduled to coincide with US President Trump’s visit to the UK.
Trump is due to meet with UK Prime Minister Theresa May, as well as the Queen. Protests are scheduled at every stop of his visit, with tens of thousands of people expected to attend the London actions alone.
During Trump’s UK visit, RSF will be highlighting the worrying decline of press freedom in the US. So far in 2018, in the US there have been three journalists arrested, three reports of equipment seizures, 19 journalists attacked, and 14 subpoenas of journalists, according to data compiled by the US Press Freedom Tracker, a coalition of more than two dozen press freedom groups, including RSF. Tragically, five employees of the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland, including four journalists, were killed in what appears to have been a targeted shooting on June 28.
“We are marching today to show our serious concerns over the rapidly deteriorating press freedom situation in the US, where journalists are now far too often subjected to pressure including arrests, subpoenas, equipment seizures, and alarmingly, physical attacks. We urge Theresa May and other UK government officials to raise these issues in their discussions with President Trump, and to take action to ensure the UK does not continue to follow the US down RSF’s World Press Freedom Index rankings”, said RSF UK Bureau Director Rebecca Vincent.
In January 2018, RSF took part in an unprecedented press freedom mission to the US, resulting in a report published in May. The report shows that President’s Trump’s attacks on the media, via his Twitter account and in press conferences, are exacerbating an already hostile environment for journalists in the US.
The US and UK are respectively ranked 45th and 40th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index. The US dropped two places after the first year of Trump’s presidency.