Conservative journalist and popular social media personality Jack Posobiec was detained by a team of heavily armed police while covering the World Economic Forum conference in Davos, Switzerland.
When Posobiec started recording the police — one of whom had his finger on the trigger of a rifle — he was asked to put his phone away.
“Am I not allowed to film?” Posobiec asked. The officer said no and would not provide an explanation beyond “it’s not allowed here.”
“Is that a law in Switzerland?” Posobiec replied. He never received an answer.
I looked up relevant Suisse case law and while there is no law regarding this, per the Police Directors of 15 cantons you can film police. It was also noted by the courts in 2015, that filming can be important for showing the courts evidence of police behavior or actions.
— Matt Kent (@EchtoGammut) May 23, 2022
Savanah Hernandez, an independent reporter, started recording when Posobiec and his film crew were detained by Swiss police. The officers repeatedly asked Hernandez to stop filming them but would not provide a reason for the stop.
“Can I ask you why you’re detaining this journalist?” Hernandez asked. “I don’t answer your questions,” replied an officer who repeatedly asked her to stop filming.
A woman — presumed to be a police officer or WEF representative — then approached Hernandez and also asked her to stop filming. “Stop filming and then we can talk,” the woman said.
“But can I ask why he’s being detained then? I won’t point the camera at you then, I won’t film you, but I would like to know why this journalist is being detained on public property…. is he allowed to leave the area?” Hernandez asked.
The woman told Hernandez that the group of heavily armed police were simply making a normal stop.
“Is there a reason he specifically was targeted?” Hernandez again asked. The unidentified woman then said that she was not obligated to tell Hernandez anything, only that there “is a reason.”
“We would not be able to do this without a reason,” the woman said, failing to providing one.
BREAKING: US Journalist @JackPosobiec has been detained by Swiss police.
They refused to tell me the reason he and his team have been detained.
He shares that police pointed guns at him and stopped him because he “looked suspicious”. pic.twitter.com/sv6XLlT0EC
— Anon News (@AnonNews14) May 23, 2022
Jack Posobiec was reportedly detained for one hour before the police let him leave.
“Never once did they explain to us why we were targeted. I want to be clear on something, we had already given our name, our passport, and our press pass, about an hour prior,” Posobiec later said in a statement.
There is no law in Switzerland bans anyone from filming police in a public setting.