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Press Watchdogs Protest East German Treatment of Journalists With AM-East Germany, Bjt

October 11, 1989

LONDON (AP) _ The International Press Institute on Wednesday protested the treatment of Western journalists during last weekend’s ceremonies marking the 40th anniversary of the founding of East Germany.

In a message to East German leader Erich Honecker, the institute’s director Peter Galliner singled out the ″unprovoked attack″ by East German police on Clare Arron, a photographer with the London-based Daily Telegraph, and condemned East Germany for expelling Western journalists.

″The International Press Institute ... deplores the enforced departure from East Germany of virtually all the Western press, which we view as a serious violation of their right to ‘seek, receive and impart information and ideas through the media regardless of frontiers’ as guaranteed by Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,″ the message said.

Besides Ms. Arron, four other Western journalists were harassed while covering pro-democracy demonstrations which coincided with the anniversary celebration visit of Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev.

A Sunday Times correspondent, Peter Millar, was arrested and taken to a police station where he was questioned and released after six hours. Millar said he was handled roughly until the police found out he was a foreign correspondent.

Two U.S. journalists hid in an East German home for three hours after being charged by police as they followed marchers. A third journalist with the London-based Sunday Correspondent got away.

All Western journalists were told to leave East Germany by midnight Sunday.

The International Press Institute, with offices in London and Zurich, acts as a watchdog of media freedom and claims 2,000 journalists, editors and publishers in more than 60 countries among its members.

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