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Federal judge frees journalist after record imprisonment for refusing to testify

[JURIST] US District Judge William Alsup of the Northern District of California [official website] approved the release Tuesday of jailed video journalist and blogger Josh Wolf [advocacy website; SourceWatch backgrounder], who was imprisoned for 226 days, longer than any other journalist, for refusing to testify before a grand jury. The judge agreed to Wolf's release after he complied with a subpoena and turned over footage [video] he took in 2005 of a San Francisco demonstration protesting the 2005 G8 Summit [official website]. Wolf also published the previously-unreleased video footage on his website Tuesday. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) [advocacy website] has repeatedly called for Wolf's release [press release] and issued a statement [press release, text] Tuesday welcoming news that Wolf was to be freed. AP has more. Bloomberg has additional coverage.

Reporters Without Borders (RWB) [advocacy website] ranked the United States in 53rd place [JURIST report] last October in its fifth annual Worldwide Index of Freedom [press release]. RWB mentioned [press release] Wolf's imprisonment among other factors contributing to the United States' slip of nine places in the rankings since the previous year.

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