Photojournalist Ed Ou Denied Entry to U.S. on Way to Standing Rock

Posted by on Wednesday November 30, 2016 | Photojournalism

Canadian photojournalist Ed Ou was detained by U.S. border security on October 1 while trying to board a flight from Vancouver, Canada, to Bismarck, North Dakota. He was traveling to Standing Rock Indian Reservation on assignment for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, to cover the protests there. As someone who has lived and worked extensively in the Middle East, Ou has frequently been questioned when crossing borders, but as he told the Columbia Journalism Review, this particular encounter with U.S. border agents was different. He was detained for several hours and was made to explain all of his travel for the previous five years. “Then they asked my why I was going to Standing Rock and why I was so interested in that. They wanted to know the people I was going to meet, what I was going to cover,” Ou told CJR. Hours later, Ou had his personal journals photocopied and his phones tampered with against his will. Ou was finally denied entry to the U.S., and was advised that he was on a “person of interest” list and should not try to enter the country again. When he sought further information about his status, he was told it was classified.

Columbia Journalism Review has a full account of Ou’s experiences, here. It includes a useful security tip about what he does with his mobile phones when crossing borders.


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