A Russian TV reporter claims that she and her cameraman were wrongfully arrested and detained by local police Saturday at a protest demonstration outside Fort Benning in western Georgia (top video below). On Tuesday, the same reporter claimed that she experienced "cruel treatment" at the hands of local police authorities (see bottom video below) as they handcuffed her at the scene.
The Washington-based pair of Russia Today journalists were arrested with at least 20 others on charges that they violated state and local laws governing public protests.
The protest event is an annual occurrence outside the U.S. military school which trains Latin American military officers. Protestors claim the school's graduates have used their training to commit human rights abuses.
The reporter, Kaelyn Forde, took to the Russia Today airwaves Monday, condemning their arrest as "very unacceptable." According to Forde, she and her cameraman were only on the scene to cover the story and local police specifically targeted people who were "filming and documenting" the protest for arrest.
In addition, Russia Today claims its crew members were detained for 32 hours and forced to pay a fine after being arrested, "despite complying with the police demand not to come close to the gates of the base," the network reported.
On Tuesday, the network released more video and claimed that their journalists had been injured by the "cruel treatment" they were subjected to:
The video shows Forde being handcuffed as she tells the police she's a member of the press. Forde complains to the police officers that she doesn't know why she's being arrested and that her handcuffs are "too tight."
The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reported police also threatened to arrest one of its reporters covering the demonstration.
Muscogee County jail records show Forde and Conway were jailed for 29 hours before they were released Sunday on $1,300 bond each. The police department had no comment for the AP Tuesday.