Sign Now: Demand the release of journalist Manuel Duran Ortega!

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

Manuel Duran Ortega―founder of Memphis Noticias, a Spanish-language publication in Memphis, Tennessee―was arrested in April for disorderly conduct and obstructing traffic while covering a local protest. Duran Ortega was one of several journalists covering the protest, was wearing his press badge, and yet was the only journalist arrested.

Two days later, the Memphis Police Department dropped the charges against him. But instead of releasing Duran Ortega, Memphis officials turned him over to ICE. He was subsequently transferred to a detention center in Louisiana―separated from his family in Memphis.

Manuel Duran Ortega should never have been taken by ICE.

His attorneys from the Southern Poverty Law Center alleges that Duran Ortega was targeted by local police in retaliation for his critical reporting.
In a petition to the court, Duran’s attorneys state that:

“Detention of Mr. Duran Ortega is a direct result of Memphis law enforcement officers’ and ICE officers’ illegal and unconstitutional actions in targeting, arresting, detaining, and seeking to deport Mr. Duran Ortega. MPD [Memphis Police Department] unlawfully arrested Mr. Duran Ortega to silence and retaliate against him.”

An attack on journalists is an attack on our First Amendment rights! Sign the petition and demand the immediate release of Memphis journalist Manuel Duran Ortega.

Participating Organizations:
Daily Kos
Demand Progress
Million Hoodies Movement for Justice
PEN America
Progress America
Progressive Democrats of America
Reporters Without Borders
United We Dream Action

To: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
From: [Your Name]

Journalist Manuel Duran Ortega was arrested on April 3 while performing his duties as a member of our free press. He was wearing his press badge and was the only journalist arrested while covering a protest in Memphis, Tennessee. All criminal charges against Duran Ortega have been dropped and the Board of Immigration Appeals has halted his deportation while it considers his case. Despite this, Duran remains in a Louisiana detention center. We demand the immediate release of Memphis journalist Manuel Duran Ortega. Silencing of our free press is an attack on our First Amendment rights.