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News April 16, 2020

The Trudeau government and Correctional Services Canada need to withdraw rules that stifle reporting on federal prisons, CFE and other press freedom organizations demand

The Centre for Free Expression joined four other press freedom organizations in calling on the federal government to permit  the media to provide the public with an accurate and timely depiction of the state of current COVID-19 health risks in federal prisons and among federal inmates in provincial institutions.

In a letter to Minister of Justice and Attorney General, David Lametti, the CFE, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, PEN Canada, Canadian Association of Journalists, and World Press Freedom Canada called for an ending of the Correctional Service of Canada’s (CSC) undue restrictions on federal inmates’ access to news reporters.

The restrictions “represent a gross violation of the constitutionally protected free expression rights not only of the media, but also of vulnerable inmates, and their family and friends, and the public,” the joint letter said.

Inmates access to the media are “necessary to help vulnerable citizens, who are not otherwise able to do so, to voice their concerns to the public. Such media investigations can also help provide valuable information to inform public policy and should be welcomed by all those who wish to see the best and safest possible systems in place.”

Read the joint letter here.