Montreal police raid home of health reporter

POLICE in Montreal raided a journalist’s home after a hospital filed a criminal complaint alleging that the reporter had stolen medical documents, reported the QMI Agency.

Health reporter Eric-Yvan Lemay of the newspaper Le Journal de Montreal said the raid, which occurred at 6:45 a.m. Thursday, March 15, was a violation of freedom of speech. Police took the reporter’s computer and the clothes he wore while visiting the hospital during his investigation, according to the Huffington Post Canada.

The accusations of document theft and trafficking, alleged by the Honore-Mercier Hospital in Ste-Hyacinthe, Quebec, stem from Lemay’s investigation into patient records left unattended at hospitals, explained the news agency AFP. Photographs of medical documents, along with information from files that were left in play view, appeared in a story published February 9.

Implying that this is another instance of the police standing above the civil power, the Professional Federation of Journalists of Quebec condemned the police raid, noting that this was just “the latest example of police going after sources and whistleblowers instead of tackling serious issues brought to light by investigative reporting,” according to the Montreal Gazette.

2 Comments

Filed under Media, Journalism & Disinformation

2 responses to “Montreal police raid home of health reporter

  1. Chandra Delaney

    If reporters think they’re being intimidated, harassed and abused, you should see how care facilities, public agencies and authorities intimidate and abuse elderly residents in residential care facilities and their families. Unimaginable acts are taking place within our healthcare facilities.

    Check this story out: http://www.focusonline.ca/?q=node/249
    and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrzngkyy6Ds

    and for a real hair-raising look at how Canadian police pursue the elderly with chilling results: http://ctwatchdog.com/misc/granny-snatching-where-is-sgt-preston-dudley-do-right-is-a-cartoon

    Here’s another, more in-depth, story on the raid of the Montreal reporter’s home:

    http://canhealth.com/News1918.html

    Quebec police raid reporter’s home over health records
    Posted March 22, 2012

    MONTREAL – Quebec provincial police carried out a raid on the home of a Montreal reporter earlier this month, after he wrote an expose on the lax protection given to paper-based patient health records in hospitals. Le Journal de Montreal reporter Eric-Yvan Lemay (pictured), who has not been charged, was with his pregnant wife and two young children when police banged on the door at 6:45 a.m. to serve a search warrant.

    The newspaper’s managing editor, George Kalogerakis, says police demanded Lemay’s fingerprints, some clothes and his computer. Kalogerakis says the seized material was sealed until Le Journal contests the warrant in court.

    Kalogerakis said Lemay had recently done a series of articles on how easy it was to get medical information in about 10 hospitals, including one in St-Hyacinthe where he found a stack of medical records in a corridor.

    He says one of the hospitals reportedly filed a criminal complaint against Lemay. Lemay has not been charged but Kalogerakis says he is suspected of theft under $5,000. Le Journal reported he is suspected of trafficking in confidential documents. Lemay, who is also an assistant editor at the newspaper, was looking at the lack of privacy for patients in hospitals.

    Kalogerakis says when Lemay found the stacks of documents in the St-Hyacinthe hospital he videotaped himself opening and closing the files. “He didn’t take them out of the hospital,” Kalogerakis said. “He did not at any point take anything out of the hospital.”

    Names of the patients were blacked out when the newspaper published the video on its website.

    “Our job is to ensure that the interests of our readers and the public are defended,” Kalogerakis said. “We consider what we did was in the public interest to show there is a problem with how the health system is …[More]

    Like

  2. Tony Seed

    Excellent comment. Thanks Chandra

    Like

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