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.