Video blogger ordered back to jail

New York, September 20, 2006 – The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned that a freelance video blogger has been ordered back to jail after losing an appeal in a U.S. federal court in San Francisco. Joshua Wolf spent 30 days in prison after refusing to turn over to a federal grand jury unaired videotape of a 2005 protest.

A two-judge panel for the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered his release on bail on August 31 while his appeal was pending.

However, on September 11, a three-judge panel for the same appellate court ruled against him. The same panel granted a petition by prosecutors to revoke Wolf’s bail and return him to jail on September 20. One of Wolf’s attorneys, Jose Luis Fuentes, said Wolf was ordered to turn himself in today to federal prison in Dublin, Calif.

Wolf taped clashes between demonstrators and San Francisco police during a June 2005 protest by anarchists against a Group of Eight economic conference. The grand jury is investigating possible criminal activity, including an alleged attempt by protesters to burn a police vehicle.

Wolf, 24, sold footage of the protest to San Francisco television stations and posted it on his Web site, AP reported. Investigators are seeking portions of his videotape that were not broadcast.