Journalist Honored by HMH Foundation for First Amendment Award After Arrest

MEMPHIS, Tennessee (WMC) — Journalist Manuel Duran will receive the HMH Foundation’s First Amendment Award after being detained by ICE.

Duran, a Salvadoran journalist, was covering a protest against immigration policies in Memphis, Tennessee, in 2018. Manuel Duran was arrested along with eight others outside the Shelby County Criminal Justice Center.

The group was charged with disorderly conduct and obstructing a highway. They said they were protesting the detention of migrants, poverty and other societal ills.

After charges related to the protest were dropped, the journalist was detained by ICE, leading to a legal battle to reopen his immigration case.

Duran was released by ICE after 15 months in detention.

After four years of arrest while working for Spanish-language news, Duran was granted asylum to stay in the United States.

Duran will be honored on September 15, 2022 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

The foundation’s website says, “promotes groups and ideas that encourage vigorous debate in our democratic society and echo Hef’s philosophy of a culture that is not afraid to challenge views that exclude certain communities”.

The foundation sponsors the annual HMH First Amendment Awards, which Christie Hefner introduced in 1979. The awards honor “contemporary heroes who fearlessly shoulder the mantle of rebel and role model.”

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