"North Dakota police arrested more than 120 people over the weekend at Native American oil pipeline protests, including film-makers and journalists, prompting accusations that law enforcement officials are stifling free speech and using excessive force against peaceful protesters.
There were increasingly tense clashes between police and demonstrators against the Dakota access pipeline, which the Standing Rock Sioux tribe says is a threat to its water supply and cultural heritage.
Reporters and protesters recently released from jail told the Guardian that police aggressively targeted nonviolent demonstrators with batons and pepper spray and indiscriminately arrested journalists and film-makers before issuing “riot” and “criminal trespassing” charges.
“I’ve covered conflicts overseas, and I never imagined I would see this kind of show of force against peaceful people,” said Jihan Hafiz, a freelance journalistwho was arrested hours after she arrived on Saturday. “This is the kind of thing you see in the Middle East.”