WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 11, 2017–The Military Reporters & Editors Association joined with other news associations and press freedom advocates this month in spotlighting a Mexican journalist denied U.S. asylum after fleeing death threats in Mexico triggered by his work.
The 20-plus organizations issued a statement decrying U.S. immigration authorities’ treatment of Emilio Gutierrez, who may be deported back to Mexico even though he says his life is in danger there because of stories he wrote about military corruption.
Gutierrez is one of several endangered Mexican reporters who have been blocked from staying in the United States recently, even though they face possible assassination in Mexico, a country that is now one of the deadliest in the world for journalists, according to independent experts.
Earlier this year, another such reporter, Martin Mendez, chose to go into hiding in Mexico rather than face continued detention in the United States–in conditions he described as inhumane–while he awaited a decision on his asylum request.
“Mexican reporters whose lives are in jeopardy in Mexico as a result of their work should not be denied asylum in America,” said MRE President John M. Donnelly. “That is not what the United States is supposed to be about.”
To draw attention to the issue, Donnelly, who also serves as chairman of the National Press Club’s press freedom team, was scheduled to host a press conference with Gutierrez’s attorney at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 11.
The Washington Post and other news organizations have reported on Gutierrez’s case.
“MRE speaks out when press freedom is jeopardized anywhere,” Donnelly said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s restrictions on U.S. reporters covering the executive branch here or threats to reporters lives in far-flung places. We are on the case.”
Based in Washington, D.C., MRE is an organization that represents journalists who cover the U.S. military. It also welcomes as members people from other professions who follow military affairs, including public affairs officers from the public and private sectors, academics, students and researchers.
Contact: MRE President John M. Donnelly: firstname.lastname@example.org; 202 650 6738