#FreeEmilio Petition Demands the Release of Jailed Mexican Journalist

Mexican Journalist Emilio Gutierrez
Mexican Journalist Emilio Gutierrez

In December, Mexican journalist Emilio Gutierrez faced what looked like a hopeless situation. A judge had rejected his appeal for asylum in the US.

He would have been deported to Mexico along with his son Oscar if not for quick work by his attorney Eduardo Beckett of El Paso to obtain a temporary stay order.

A man with no criminal history found himself behind bars – and he knew that if he were deported he faced death at the hands of sectors of the Mexican military that had been the subject of his reporting.

As Gutierrez sat in the El Paso Detention Center a group was mobilizing to support his efforts and those of his attorney. The National Press Club, along with its non-profit National Press Club Journalism Institute held news conferences, issued statements, worked behind the scenes with government officials and employed other strategies to build public support for Emilio and his asylum case.

[ Also Read: 4 Million Americans Sign Petition to Impeach Donald Trump ]

Recently, Emilio has been granted a full stay and his asylum appeal will be heard by the Bureau of Immigration Appeals (BIA). While this is good news, Emilio and Oscar have not yet been released from the prison-like setting of the El Paso Detention – an ICE-run facility.

One of the best tools the Press Club has used to keep the public engaged is an online petition through Change.Org. So far, nearly 30,000 supporters have signed the petition.

Founded in 1908, The National Press Club is the world’s leading professional organization for journalists with 3,100 members worldwide representing nearly every major news organization.

The Press Club, through the activities and programs of the National Press Club Journalism Institute, promotes press freedom worldwide.

Photo courtesy: National Press Club

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Rakesh Raman