Journalists to rally in support of Ben Makuch

Reporter risks prison sentence for refusing to give Mounties communications with suspected terrorist

VICE News reporter Ben Makuch could face a prison sentence for refusing to give the RCMP his chat logs with a suspected terrorist.

Makuch is to appear in court on Feb. 6 to fight the Ontario court decision early last year in favour of the RCMP.

Canadian Journalists for Free Expression have organized a rally in Makuch’s support outside the courthouse at noon hour.

Makuch wrote a series of articles in 2014 based on conversations he had with Farah Mohammed Shirdon, a 22-year-old Calgary-born soldier for the Islamic State, using instant messaging app Kik Messenger.

One article in particular sparked controversy, revealing Shirdon had made threats against Canada during one of their conversations over Kik.

Forcing Makuch to hand over his notes will prevent sources from speaking with journalists, CJFE executive director Tom Henheffer said. This puts news that is of public interest at risk of not being told, he said.

The rally is planned for outside the court house at Osgoode Hall, 130 Queen St. W., on Monday at 12 p.m.