Journalist Amy Miller of the Alternative Media Centre was arrested over the weekend at the G20 protests in Toronto. She was held for 13 hours, during which time she saw multiple women strip-searched and was repeatedly threatened with rape.
Miller, along with several other reporters, was walking through Toronto at approximately noon when they stopped to see a few protesters who were being searched on the sidewalk. She claims police quickly brought her to the ground, where they cuffed her and brought her into Toronto Film Studio, where police were holding other protesters. They proceeded to threaten Miller, along with her colleagues. Miller also observed several young women, who were "too young to know their rights," improperly strip-searched. One even claims she was sexually assaulted by a male officer:
Throughout the time that I was detained I was told many statements that I find repulsive and completely inappropriate and what I view as threats. I was told I was going to be raped. I was told that I was going to be gang banged. I was told that they were going to make sure that I was never going to want to act as a journalist again by making sure that I would be repeatedly raped while I was in jail. While I was in the detention center, I saw numerous young women who were completely strip searched, who were strip-searched by male officers. And one young woman who was coming out, who was completely traumatized, said she had had a finger put up her.
Miller says she hopes there will be an investigation into the mistreatment of detainees.
Other journalists have reported similar experiences. Many were detained for hours, and several claim they were subjected to physical violence. Maryam Adriangi, of Toronto Community Mobilization Network, said she was also threatened with rape. "I was harassed by police and had racist and sexist comments made against me," Adriangi said.
A Toronto Police spokesman says the detention center has surveillance footage that will clear up the matter and refute Miller's allegations. Though Mayor David Miller has not responded to Amy Miller's claims, he has said that, overall, the police did a good job: "I think compared to similar events around the world, our police did a remarkably good job and people should be starting from that perspective," he told reporters on Monday morning. Human rights groups aren't necessarily convinced; Amnesty International has called for an independent review to be launched into police action.
Human Rights Violations At The G20 [Shakesville]
Accusations Of Wrong-Doing [London Free Press]
Amy Miller - Alternative Media Centre, Independent Journalist On Vimeo [Vimeo]
G20 Wrap-Up: What Happened? [True/Slant]